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Friends,

When I draft a novel, I DRAFT a novel. Free-writing is my mantra. I don’t let sensible thoughts weigh me down. Why bother? They are chains on my creativity. This process works, it really works, for me. Writing tip: if you are trying to edit while you are writing, you are a hundred times less likely to enjoy the process or finish the story.

And then the muses sweep me in a different direction… (Thanks, muses. I love you anyway.)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote two scenes that were to take place in the medieval fortress of Saphree. Saphree is of great significance to one of my characters so there were lots of specially crafted phrases describing its architecture and its emotional impact. All of this was powerful writing, until the muses decided my characters should be at some legendary waterfalls in the middle of the open woods instead.

Usually, relocating is not too much work. A wall is a wall so change bricks to wood or wood to stone and,¬†poof!, you’re done. But relocating from indoors to outdoors is a major project. And relocating from one significant place to a place that is significant for entirely different reasons… Oy vey (which, by the way, is a “Yiddish exclamation of chagrin, dismay, exasperation or pain”). My brain hurts just thinking about it.

And yet… I admit. I find these kind of time-consuming changes fun. It offers a challenge that my typically sloppy free-writing does not. So here’s to finding a little fun in the journey and the work and the muses. May your challenges melt to joy today and the stories you craft–in pen or deed–receive a breath of fresh air,

Jessie Mae

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