The letter M is up in today's Blogging from A to Z Challenge - and my topic:
Many authors believe in drawing their creativity from a devine source. A space perhaps otherworldly, that houses all the wonderful ideas of the universe - just waiting to flow through you, and onto your pages.
And you access this place of infinite creativity, by the works of the amazing muse.
But what exactly is a muse?
According to The Free Dictionary.com, here is how they interpret the term muse:
4. (Literature / Poetry) a goddess that inspires a creative artist, esp a poet
Many of our talented predecessors believed in the muse - and even included her in their works. For example:
Homer, in Book I of The Odyssey:
"Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy." (Robert Fagles translation, 1996)
William Shakespeare, Act 1, Prologue of Henry V:
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
I am a believer in my muse. She's wonderfully talented and incredibly creative...but she also likes to vacation more than I do.
Not that she doesn't deserve a good vacation, because when she's here to work, she rolls up her sleeves, ties her laces tight, and is ready to run - often times allowing me to easily crank out anywhere from 20,000 - 30,000 words in a weekend. It's almost as if my fingers are unattached from my own body, as they fly across the keyboard and craft this potentially wonderful story - just waiting to be polished and fine tuned.
But when my muse has packed up her bag and is off traveling to who knows where, here are a few tips that help me get through the funk:
1. Read. Read as many books in your genre, as you possibly can. A writer can never stop learning the tricks and trades of the business - and like a fine wine, the craft of writing only gets better with age.
2. Step away from your work. Sometimes you've been staring at the same chapter, same page, same paragraph, same sentence - same word - for who knows how long...but it's obvious that it's been long enough. Walk away from your writing - take a break and let your mind drift. Because when you try to force it, your Muse will never come out to play.
3. Spend time doing one of your favorite hobbies - go for a run, take a yoga class - perhaps an art lesson? Often times it's when you're participating in something else creative, that tempts your muse to come on home.
4. Talk to your writerly friends / CP's / Beta Readers - they understand what you're going through, sometimes better than your family. And sometimes, it's just what you need to get the creative juices flowing again.
5. Jump on-line. Check out your favorite writer / author blogs. Stop by and read the latest post from a site you haven't been to in awhile. Stay connected.
My muse is kinda hanging out right now - she's patiently waiting in the cozy chair in the corner, feet tucked up underneath her, and reading a gossip magazine (she likes to do that, as do I). We're waiting for some feedback from Mr. Agent Man in the next week, to really dive in to all those re-writes I have ahead of me. I wonder if there's a way I can get her to write them for me. :)
So, do you believe in the writing muse? What do you do when she's not around?
By the way, I wrote this post from the Maple Valley library. Yep, I said I'd come here today - and I did. And it's a beautiful space - not to mention, nice and quiet (although their YA section - while bigger than I expected - could still use a little help!). Plus, the view from my cozy table is so pretty - check it out:
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