Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Closet Muse

A long time ago, someone brought up the discussion of muses on one of the lists. Silly, I thought. I deal in reality. Right…with my vampire, werewolf, fae, and--you name it-- stories….reality. So why does a writer who loves fantasy and the paranormal not have a muse? Because I’m the one who works hard to think this stuff up. No way am I going to give credit to some fantastical entity. No way.

And then one day one of my critique partners asked our group about everyone’s muse. She’d been to an RWA workshop, and felt like I did. She didn’t have a muse, didn’t want to think about it. Silly. But she really got into it, described her muse, and had a lot of fun doing it.

So for the first time, I began to think of my muse. She’s my height, same coloration, beautiful--just like me--only she’s thinner, younger, wears fairy-like clothes and hides in the closet.

And that’s why I don’t have a muse. What good is a closet muse? About that time I was having one of those, I refuse to call it writer’s block, but you know, something like that…when the words just won’t jump out of my fingers onto the keys and appear on the paper. I’m usually really annoyed with myself when I have this…this frustratingly annoying non-creative, non-productive period. Until I latched onto that muse and realized the problem. It was all her fault! She refused to come out of the closet.

I also had to blame my critique partner, because if she hadn’t introduced me to my muse, I wouldn’t have ever blamed anyone but myself for not getting back to my writing.

The good news is I’m busily at work again, despite the fact I have a closet muse. So remember, whether you have a muse or not, writing is an important part of a writer’s life and nothing should stop that natural drive, even if it has to be given a nudge every once in a while.

Sometimes I go months without thinking about my muse. It just happens. The idea comes to me, the words get written, the story is completed. I’m a writer. Other times, I have to drag the words out of the gray matter, hash and rehash the words on paper, and finally, with a great deal of effort, finish the story. I’m still a writer. Does my muse help?

You’d have to ask her. She won’t come out of the closet to speak to me.

Do you have a creative muse? What is she/he like?

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