Having a Muse #writing #writer #author

Muses suck...Muses are rare.  I hear a lot of negative things about the concept of a muse.  Having a muse doesn’t mean you’re more creative, a literary genius, don’t have to learn, and it doesn’t devalue writing.

Having a muse is like being dyslexic or having ADHD.  It’s a handicap for writers.  A million stories run around in my head at all times.  My muse keeps me awake at night and sleep deprived.  I struggle to focus on a single story.  It’s also like being a junky, because when your muse isn’t talking, you feel like you’re in withdrawal and writing feels like a root canal because you’re so used to the words coming with ease.  By the way, my greatest challenge as a writer comes when my muse gets quiet when I’m stressed and I can spend months or years trying to recover.

And this is why it always irritates me when people talk scoff about muses, because they’re not ranting about how much of a hindrance a muse is, how it makes your writing career harder when you have one.  No, they’re saying they don’t exist, and that the very claim that you have one undermines the writing profession in general.  It’s bullshit.

Granted, I can write 7-11k words in a day.  During NaNoWriMo, it’s rare for me to have days where I write less than 3k words.  I write fast, and I write when I’m inspired.  That is all a byproduct of having a muse, and it works against me as much as it works for me.  It makes it very difficult to make habits as I can’t write every day.  If I write for more than about two weeks in a row, I burn out.  Even during NaNo, I take a break every few days, using the time to brainstorm.

I envy those who don’t have muses sometimes.  Those writers aren’t mired down by the bullshit they bring.  They can focus on a single book with ease without other books, ideas, and characters getting in the way.  They sleep uninterrupted.

The truth is I don’t wait for my muse to inspire me.  It isn’t an excuse.  Just like with my dyslexia and ADHD, I find ways of making it work.  I work around my handicaps, not make excuses for them.  So don’t blame the muses, they’re a handicap, but they’re not at fault.  Stephen J. Cannell managed a successful career in writing in spite of having dyslexia.

A person can make excuses, but make no mistakes, the only thing stopping you is you.

I stumbled upon this, which I wrote back in 2015.  With where I am now, I wanted to revisit where I’ve been.  I’ve done much better on some of these fronts.  I no longer allow myself to write in multiple projects at once.  I write one book and edit one book.  That’s it.  It keeps me focused, and gives me motivation to finish.

I haven’t had problems with my fickle muse in a while.  She kept me up nights while
writing Out of Time, and had me jumping off the walls as I started writing The Alien’s Pet.  Stress has kept her otherwise very quiet lately.  

I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

Discover more from Danielle Forrest | Sci-Fi Romance Author

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