I’ve asked a bunch of people to guest blog about working with their muse. Links to these posts, which have happened over the past couple of months, are posted here. I’ve enjoyed the peek at other writers’ processes, but it seems only fair that I should eventually share my own.
To be truthful, the idea of having a muse seemed rather strange to me. I’m quite a matter-of-fact person–imagination and all–and I’ve got no idea how come I’m writing fiction in the first place. But then to move over in my own head and allow–pretend?–someone else to have space in there? Na-uh. Kinda weird. Definitely new-agey. I put the thoughts aside and smiled and nodded when my friends talked about what their muses had dished out this time.
I’m a bit of a control freak. I know that comes as a huge shock to anyone who knows me, but I like things right where they belong, thank you. (Not that my house is that tidy, but I digress!) When asked to visualize my muse, I first thought of a puppy. Hey, lots of people in Think Sideways were talking about animal muses. But we’d just gotten Brody, a lab/border collie cross (who just turned one last week, by the way), and I quickly realized that if my muse WAS a puppy, we were all in huge trouble. The most important thing about a new puppy is training him to obey. The most important thing about the muse relationship is allowing her some freedom. Then I wondered if acknowledging my muse and allowing her this freedom would cause things to come out in my writing that weren’t true to me or my beliefs.
At this point I got a visual of a hag with tangled hair sitting on a chair by MY dining room table with her long skirt (I don’t even own one!) hiked up as she clipped her toenails. I’m here to tell you I am not obsessed with my toenails. However, in the past few months when the Muse and I are not playing nicely, this is the visual I get. She’s bored. I’m not listening. Time to clip the nails. Yawwwwwn.
I finally got it through my thick skull that the muse WAS me, just the part of me that I’d stifled. The part that wasn’t so practical. The part that yearns to do artistic and random things that my Me doesn’t have time for and doesn’t see the need for. About this time she set the clipper on the table and wandered over to see what I was up to.
Check in tomorrow for Part 2 of my amaaaazing story. (Promise: no more toenail pix!)