Friday, September 12, 2008

Mastering the Muse

Some writers have them and some don’t.

To my dismay, I have one. She’s everything I’m not. Skinny, outgoing, funny, and she looks stunning in a bikini. She has her faults though. A fickle and demanding creature, she shows up at the most inconvenient times -- the middle of the night, in the shower, or when I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. That’s when she starts spouting off ideas and scenes faster than I can write them down.

Does she show up when I’ve got tons of time on my hands and the freedom to write? Nope. Those are the days that she’s off on a tropical island drinking daiquiris decorated with tiny paper umbrellas. So, there I sit staring at the blinking cursor on my monitor, or worse, playing Freecell as though I’m getting paid for it.

Early in my writing career, I tried to control my muse. I kept her on a tight leash and did my own demanding. The words dried up. It was worse than writer’s block. As a result, I stopped writing and ignored the enthusiastic murmurings of my muse when she deigned to show up. Luckily for me, she didn’t give up on me as easily as I gave up on her. These days, I realize that, like me, she can’t be “on” every hour of every day. She and I came to a compromise, she can flit off to the beach when she needs to and I’ll muddle through until her return.


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