Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wherefore Art Thou, Muse?

I love Stephen King's On Writing -- it's one of those rare craft books that is equally entertaining as it is informative. I actually think it's one of the few I'd recommend to non-writers because it explains some of our quirks/neuroses so well.

One of the things that resonated most with me was when King talked about the concept of the muse. King pictures his muse as a base, cigar-chomping fella who only shows up when he's least expected and won't ever deign to make an appearance when summoned. The rest of the time, when the muse isn't there throwing slivers of hope in the writer's direction, the only thing the writer can do is to have his nose to the grind, slaving away for hours on what is, probably, crap in the hopes that the muse will at some point make an appearance.

This is one of the things I need to remember right now. I started the first draft of a new WIP back in August. For various reasons (some include working on other projects and others include pure laziness/getting sucked into watching seven seasons of Doctor Who), I haven't looked at this WIP since then. When I opened it yesterday, I remembered that I was once excited about it. I even remembered some of the elements that made me excited. What I didn't remember was that the ten pages I had written weren't very good and that I was only three chapters in on my outline.


I don't think my muse is coming anytime soon (though I still have hope that, eventually, she will come). And I'm a little rusty on putting my head down and spending the time to write.

But my goal for the next week is to open up my Scrivener file every day, put my fingers on the keyboard and type -- even if I know what I'm writing isn't good. That small goal, I can handle.

And I hope that while I'm doing that, my muse will decide to visit me again someday. Soon.

For the record, my muse might wear a combination of Regency clothing and Quidditch robes. She definitely has a British accent. 


  1. I will join you in this. I don't know where my muse is either. Possibly out drinking with yours.

  2. Your muse is definitely a lot cooler looking than mine.

  3. My muse only comes out to poke me in the middle of the night or when I'm in the shower. She's a slippery little minx, that one.
    Good luck with your writing, but I'm sure it will work out - I believe that most writing is butt in chair and only a little bit can be attributed to the muse. We're the ones doing all the typing, that has to count for something, right?

  4. What a lovely little muse!

    Mine would be in flowing robes, I think, with a belly dance skirt, veil, or something like that. Lots of bracelets.

    Honestly, though, I love the "butt in the chair" moments, too. So nice when I get to just write!

    Good luck!

  5. Great post. I'm grind-stoning away myself this past week, opening up my WIP I hadn't touched since November. I like the small doable daily goals idea. Good luck as you get back into!!