Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Muse

got lube

My muse needs a little lube.

When she’s feelin’ easy, a cup of choco-peppermint java does the trick. When she’s feelin' sassy, a margarita will turn her into a motor-mouth. Sometimes though, she’s just not in the mood to be giving up the inspiration.

**insert image of me staring at blank screen**

I can’t sit around waiting for lightning to strike! I’ve got deadlines.

Worst of all is when she’s in some bitchy PMS mode. As in Providing Me Shit mode. That’s thems lube “good” idea that can’t possibly work because of some magic/world construct that I set up earlier, but which I do not realize until the passage is completely written.

When she’s PMS-ing or simply not in the mood, sweet talk won’t work. When she’s like this, I have to do something drasticlike getting out the lighter fluid and soaking the bitch.

No, I don’t actually burn any little clay figures doused in a flammable liquid. But I do have to change tactics. *note: this implies taking action of some sort, not waiting it out*

Sometimes its easy. I open a new document and (disregard the blank page reference earlier)somehow a blank page that’s not really part of the manuscript doesn’t have the burden of living up to the rest of manuscript. It’s not really in the story, it’s just practice. If its good I can do a copy and paste. If it’s not, well, it never was a part of that manuscript anyway. Blank page can be a no pressure solution. But my muse may be getting wise to this trick.

bubbles and candles Sometimes its quasi-easy. I go the immobile route and meditate. I light candles and incense and soak in a hot bubbly tub. I go plug in the guitar and jam until I’ve relived the late 80’s. I go through my media player and make a new playlist according to the problem scene. (action scene = action music)

Sometimes its semi-hard. I pull down some of my ‘how to write’ books and flip through passages that deal with the issue at hand. (beginning, middle, end; conflict, action, suspense; scene and sequel; character, etc.) A little refresher course doesn’t hurt, though when the answer is found there I do tend to scold myself because I should have known the answer already….

Sometimes its just freaking HARD. I mentally whine about it. I sit. I stand. I pace. I talk to whip myself until the dogs leave the room because they think I’m crazy. I punish my bad self with extra treadmill time: You have twenty minutes to mull this over. If you don’t have some kind of solution, you’re doing another twenty! *whip snap*

I think my muse gets off on makin’ me work for it. She knows I’ll listen; I know she’s got the goods.

Writers in general speak about their muse, the source of their inspiration, creativity and ideas. I tease and say my muse needs to stop whoring around. Yeah, some ‘great’ ideas I’ve had that I thought were pretty unique turned out to not be quite so novel after all.

I’ve learned that comes with the territory. She’s not just whispering in my ear. She’s whispering in any ear that will listen because she’s all about being heard and the bottom line is, if I’m not working on something, she’s not whispering.

Happy Wednesday from your Hump Day Word Whore, Linda

AND HEY, LOOKIE! I was a Tuesday Teaser! YAY!!!!!!!


  1. I love how both you and Laura talk about taking action, not just sitting around and waiting for the divine whispers. This is a great list of things to *do* when the words aren't pouring out!

  2. Love the Halestorm video - never heard them before!

  3. The single greatest way to get the muse talking? Boredom. Oh yes. Never underestimate the motivating power of mind-numbing boredom.

  4. Ooo, I'm going to try that blank page = guilt-free progress; otherwise, lighter fluid is rapidly approaching as Option #2.

  5. I sometimes try to "beat" the muse by pre-seeding the ideas for the next day. It seems counter-intuitive, but if it's late, even if the ideas are flowing, sometimes I'll just stop writing when it's getting easy - because if it's something I'm enjoying, then it's that much easier for me to pick up where I leave off the next day.

  6. Great post, Linda. Love the reminder that we all have to come to terms with our writing process and find ways to keep moving forward. Different for each of us, so no one right answer.