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Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Never Met A Muse I Could Trust

What writer, including me, hasn't used the term, 'muse' when referring to creativity? Yes, we ALL have! And because we have, I have come to the conclusion it is best for us to think of our creativity more in terms with our own talent: hence this blog post! Enjoy!

You know, I never met one I trusted. They don't like regular hours. They're always calling in sick. A more unreliable species of beings I have yet to come across!

I think writers depend on  them far too much and don't develop their own RMS (Replacement Muse System).

The best writing advice I ever received came from a friend who happens to write a very successful crime series. She told me to never wait for inspiration.

That quite floored me. I couldn't get over it. But the more I wrote, the more I realized she was entirely correct.

Let me explain what I mean: writing a novel is a job. It's a job I like but it's a job. If I waited for some miraculous voice of artistry and creation to call to me, I wouldn't get it done. I'm aiming for two novels a year so I think you see what I mean!


My characters are my inspiration. I know them so well that I listen to them. They lead me through the story. Sometimes I find I don't agree with a detour and I go back, but most of the time. MOST OF THE TIME: 99.9 percent OF THE TIME THEY'RE RIGHT. They might lead me to a strange and surprising place, but guess what? I find that if I look around I like it!

Creativity is a gift that writers have. We can truly press ourselves and continue on without waiting for a 'muse,' because THERE ARE NO MUSES. There is only the writer and his/her imagination. YOU are your own muse.

Writing is hard work that needs constant honing and refinement. But most of all I have found it needs real push, self-motivation and the desire to get your work out there and published.

And no matter what you keep going, you keep pushing and working and you don't stop, because even when you are published you'll find the really hard work begins. But hey, that's what a writer's life is all about, right?!


Lori said...

I love this, Carole! Excellent points, and so very true. This is something all creative writers can certainly relate to. Sometimes the magic is there, but a lot of the time it's a matter of staying at it no matter what. Blaming the muse is a good excuse, but you are right that it comes down to us and only us and we need to be motivated as well as very disciplined in what we do. Sometimes emotions can get in the way, but not if we pour those feelings into our words, or write to get over them. Like any job, we have to put in the hours, it's as simple as that. Nicely put! :)

Anonymous said...

thanks Lori!
Yes, it's down to us and only us.
I'm so glad you agree!
thanks so much for your comment.

T.K. Millin, The Unknown Author- said...

Love the post Carole!
You are 100% positively right on, writing is a job. I love it when friends ask "so what do you do all day?" and I say, "write." They in turn answer, "all day!" I then go on to explain that I approach my writing just as I would any full time job. I have a set time I start every day, usually 10 am, and at least until my husband comes home from work. Even if I don't feel like it I do (just like days when you don't feel like going to a 9-5 job you do it) Then I try to take week-ends off (unless I'm hit with absolute inspiration!)
I too find inspiration through my characters, don't you love it when you fall in love with one? I've even had it happen with a character that started out as a filler and ended up becoming a main character!
Thank you for your inspiration to us out here in writer land!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much T.K.
Glad you agree, it's true. It's just us. And it's what we do. Whatever amount of time we can devote we do it!
You work hard at it, and that's the mark of a true writer: committment.
And yes, your characters inspire you.
I love what you said about falling in love with one. I suppose I did, because I couldn't have written scenes without feeling that way!
You have to be involved and you are!
I'm so glad you found it inspiring! I find your comments inspiring to me!
I love feedback, thank you!

Ani Raye said...

I so agree to the "job" part too. It's really difficult for me to write most of the time because I'm an Engineering student, pursuing a degree in the hardest of engineering streams, and completely against my interests too. It's hard to put the pen to paper most days except to draw some circuit or the other. But I keep writing because some people write to live, and others live to write. I'm in the latter category. And also, if I don't indulge them...then where will my characters perform their antics? (And I love them all so much too)
About the muse thing, though...I have a muse. Someone who's ready to be there anytime for me, work out all my tangles and push me to finish what I'm writing. She's an unbelievably talented muse (lol) and my best friend for thirteen years (I'm seventeen, so that's a long while) and she proves that muses don't have to be immortal. So I'm lucky at that.
Great, great post Carole.

Anonymous said...

you know Ani, that's great!
there's a story in there! so this is a real friend you have?
I mean a flesh and blood muse? that's something else, that's fine!
it's the surreal, magical muses i have a problem with.
Wow! engineering, that's fantastic!
a different part of your brain i think!
you must be good!

I admire you very much. And yes, I agree when we have to write, we write and it comes out because we find the time, even if there's no time!

Thanks so much!
pleasure to hear from you!

Aline S. Iniestra said...

Aaaahhh I do have a muse, at least "helper", i could call it. That is music. But you are totally right, the writer is his very own muse. However I think if there is no motivation of any kind it is difficult to continue writing. Great points of view, thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

thank you Aline!xxxx
well that's perfectly understandable. it's you and your brain and emotions being inspired by music. music is a real thing. it was composed by another creative person!
Muses aren't real they are non-entities.
Your dramatic and well-written poetry is from Aline's brain and her heart! you are your own inspiration. sure, we all need to feel inspired but that too is within us.
we can look for ways to kick start it, but it's not a muse thing!
thanks so much!

Aline S. Iniestra said...

Agreed! Yes inspiration adn help from an outiside source works, but yes, it is we who play the inspiration and have the will to keep writing, otherwise we wouldn't be doing what we do and love.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said! thank you!