How To Get The Best From Your Writer Muse #writers #writer

writing

Writer muses are believed to be guiding spirits or mystical creatures that whisper creative and inspirational new ideas to writers whilst they work.

The term “muse” originally came from Greek mythology— it was one of the nine goddesses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over the arts and sciences.

If you have a writer muse – how do you treat it?

If you are like me then you might be a little tough with your muse, sometimes scare it away, expect too much from it and perhaps blame it for everything when things don’t go right.

Any of these situations sound familiar?

  • Demanding that your writer muse gives you a first draft with ‘bestseller’ stamped all over it.
  • Having a hissy fit when your muse doesn’t immediately show up after you have clicked your fingers.
  • When your writer muse does show up you nip on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / StumbleUpon and leave them hanging around.
  • You never say thanks, you just say ‘NEXT!’
  • You criticise your muse at every opportunity.

Some famous authors talk about how they treat their muse:

In ‘The War of Art’, Steven Pressfield explains that before he writes he invokes his muse through prayer, to do this he recites the ‘Invocation of the Muse from Homer’s Odyssey, translation by T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia’ and after he has written he expresses his gratitude to his muse.

Stephen King talks of tipping his hat to his muse in his book ‘On Writing’.

In this fabulous TED Talks video ‘Your Elusive Creative Genius’ Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ talks about creative spirits and the creative process. It is about 20 mins long so you need to set aside some time to watch it but it really is great to watch (and I have such a huge author crush on her).

My writer muse is a funny creature….sigh!  If I had to sum up my muse in two words I would say a crazy and unpredictable. Obviously very different to me! I haven’t worked out what gender it is yet. It blows hot and cold when it comes to writing. Sometimes it doesn’t even bother to show up and I get frustrated. Sometimes it whispers the most amazing ideas to me that I have to stop what I am doing and race towards a notebook with a ridiculous goofy happy expression on my face.

I don’t think I appreciate my muse enough. Our relationship is fraught, passionate and frustrating. We do fall out regularly and I do wish I could understand it a bit more.

I quite like the idea of showing my muse some appreciation and being grateful for having a mystical creative spirit, who feeds my mind with wonderful ideas and stories.

Perhaps being nice to my writer muse will help reduce the stress of writing a book?

Or reduce the number of tantrums one has at their writing desk?

It might even help make those bad writing days a little easier.

Can you imagine if being nice to your creative muse meant you got more? Gasp!

 

So, I have started being nice to my little muse and I am trying to get the best out of them.

Here are the things I am doing:

  1. Being polite. When I require its assistance I am using both ‘please’ and ‘thank you’
  2. Agree Roles & Responsibilities. I do the hard graft whilst my writer muse occasionally sprinkles ‘literary fairy dust’ over my head. It’s important to confirm roles and responsibilities because I have been known to not do any writing as I strongly believed a magical creature would show up and do it for me.
  3. No Naughty Words Policy. When I am busy interacting with my mystical creative spirit I am not going to use any naughty words to describe the quality of the idea or lack of ideas it has presented to me.
  4. Trust it. I am going to trust it for a bit. I am not going to argue with it or make fun of it. Just go with it!
  5. Give it some strength. I am trying to go to bed at a sensible hour, making an effort not to eat rubbish and I am (finally) doing some regular exercise.
  6. Stay positive. My creative spirit has not let me down so far so when I hit a bad spell or a writing issue I just need to stay positive / not have a tantrum and ask them nicely to help me out.
  7. Give it your full attention. I am practicing removing all distractions (phones, internet, apps etc) before I write so that I can give my muse my full attention.
  8. Gratitude. I am practicing being grateful for all the work my muse does. Bless its little cotton socks!

Please share with me your thoughts on writer muses. D

o you believe in them? If so – how do you treat your muse?

Have a fabulous day all those writers and muses out there!

 

Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

59 thoughts on “How To Get The Best From Your Writer Muse #writers #writer

  1. I thunk the Muse is a funny little thing, it doesn’t want you to notice it coming as it’s shy, so naughty words will scare it off!
    You mean… there is NO writing fairy? Oh f**k! Lol

      1. I’m going to cry! Not!! Its why I have to be up late… writing lol.
        I’m excited to be seeing you tomorrow! 😃😃😃

  2. I tend to interpret the muse as inspiration, and what I’ve learned about inspiration is that you can’t force it or manufacture it, but you can attract it. What I have to do is to put myself into inspiring situations, and to be open to the possibilities. After that it’s writing and rewriting until the work is done.

  3. Trust is important, and being positive. My muse is a mischievous small boy who loves to laugh, but he sulks if I expect too much or threaten to give up if he doesn’t help. Like many small boys, he takes some time to wake up, but when he’s fully awake it’s nonstop action. He hates it when I leave him to attend to my shaky and rickety online platform.
    While we’re on the subject, how the fudge does anyone manage to write a book and maintain a blog at the same time?

  4. I blog about Lorelei on occasion. She looks like a brunette Olympic diver, and always dresses well. She gives me more ideas than I can handle. Once I settle on one she kicks my butt to make me finish the project.

  5. I had a muse in my twenties when I wrote, but since I’ve retired and actually have time to write I’ve found myself museless. I wish to be visited by that same creative energy. Sometimes I think my muse visits only under pressure and I function best under pressure.

  6. I think demanding a bestseller out of your muse is a surefire way for no ideas to come! I’ve found that my muse is unpredictable as well. And I agree that you have to be polite and patient and keep your ears open. You never know when ideas will be whispered to you.

  7. My muse is fly by night mystical being and I call her Purple Petal. She often fills my head with entire chapters at night when i am trying to sleep…..
    Being passionate about poetry i will often jot the entire story down in several verses of a poem and build it into a story at a later date.
    As this happens often I now have several long poems all patiently waiting to be turned into novels.
    At the present moment Purple Petal has taken a summer holiday and left me alone to edit my next novel.

  8. If I ever had a muse, I didn’t recognize him / her or she decided we were compatible. Maybe. 😀
    😀 😀 I know I’m controlling. Sigh. Maybe that’s the problem–the muse wanted control instead.

  9. My muse seems to enjoy a glass of wine, nuggets of unexpectedly really good cheese, or the occasional angel share of a bit of whiskey mixed in with cola. But mostly she prefers that I get plenty of sleep so she can talk with me in depth and in private. You are right, though, I don’t believe I thank her enough. I’ll try to do better.

  10. Muses. My muses are dead and they guide me over and over to create. They are always there right beside me, wishing me well, and encouraging me to write a really good book!

  11. I’ve misplaced my muse somewhere. Either that or I have fired it.. Where would I be able to purchase a new one?

  12. Out of respect for my muse, I am always armed with some mechanism with and upon which to write. My muse is unpredictable and really doesn’t under the concept of time…I have given up trying to teach it.

    Thanks for a great post…it was a-muse-ing (sorry, my muse made me write that).

  13. I do believe. My muse demands coffee before any conversation. Since that suits me fine we get along. We have small disagreements but never anything major. Excuse me I gotta go. It seems my muse is jealous. Bye.

  14. Good post! You should write one on Writer Totems which, if memory serves, it’s a physical item used to create inspiration. Kind of a manifestation of you muse, if you will.

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