|Photo courtesy of Svilen Milev www.efffective.com (yes, three F's!)|
First, I check my email. Then Facebook. Then Twitter. I scan my favorite news sites (5 in all) then finally open up my music player and hit play on Phantom. I'm ready to go and so is my muse. She settles down and we kick some serious writing ass. That blinking cursor and white screen don't scare us!
Unfortunately what was going on wasn't quite that obvious. It was subtle and stealthy and nearly lethal to my creative side. When I finally realized that the situation was killing my muse, I removed myself from the situation but my muse refused to come out to play.
|Squee! The Muse and I|
celebrate our first
Things went swimmingly for a while then I ran into another roadblock when I was unexpectedly waylaid by a wall of censure and cold shoulders. The thing that made this really bad is the attitude emanated from people I trusted and confided in. I fought for months and I felt my muse slipping further and further away. This time, though, I was determined not to let her go. I threw the rope around her teeny little waist and yanked with all my strength.
Then, I sat down and had a talk with myself. It was rough and often rude and there was lots of crying (hey, I said we were neurotic. Not only do we hear the voices in our heads, we often argue with them.) When the tissues were sodden and the chocolate consumed, I had an epiphany. She and I worked out a deal to protect her at all costs: write for myself, my characters and no one else. Ever since I had that brainstorm, my muse and I have been happily burning up the keyboard with lots of books (nine of them with more on the way!) and even more ideas. I can quite often be caught with my face frozen, mouth agape and brain working feverishly. Thankfully, my family is used to this expression and now, instead of calling an ambulance, they hand me something to write on.
The lesson of Muse Protection came to the fore again today when I was involved in a discussion with fellow authors about how to handle the things we all have to face like rejection, critics, ridicule and the ever popular "You write what?!" I offered my two cents, then my muse and I happily went back to writing a chilling little story that makes my skin crawl and her cackle with absolute glee.
I'm not sure about the story, but she's having a blast and really, if your muse is happy, who cares?
So, protect your muse. Protect your writing. Cull from your life those who would drag you down and pummel your muse into creative unconsciousness. She deserves much better than that.
P.S. My muse just happens to be the adult form of Ember, the daughter of Cutter & Leetah from Elfquest by the genius and talented brains of Richard & Wendy Pini. If you don't know Elfquest, then you are so missing out. It's one of the coolest graphic comic series in the history of ever. Check it out! My Ember muse image is from the Gatherum. She's totally grown, sporting a huge assed sword and looking smug and defiant. LOVE IT.