Definition 1: “Muse” - Greek Mythology - Any one of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus.
Definition 2: “muse” - to think deeply and at length.
As a (newish) published writer, I’ve often pondered the existence of the first using the second definition. Sure, there are times when your writing is going so well, your story sparkling so brightly, you can feel a tingle down your spine. But then there are the other times every writer dreads, when you can’t face the computer or notepad, when fingernails are bitten down to stumps, when the words completely dry up and it seems all nine daughters have deserted you for white washed beaches, hammocks and pina coladas in far flung places. Those times that send an altogether different tingle down your spine when you’re absolutely convinced your writing career is over.
As writers, professional or otherwise, are we doing ourselves a disservice by relying on this mythical Muse (I have, more times that I care to name!) when really thinking deeply and at length would help progress our writing?
While we ponder that, let’s ponder another problem. Once you’ve finally realised your dream of becoming a published author, acquired an agent and/or editor and very strict deadlines or at least a rough idea as to when you need to finish a project, what happens then? After taking a year or three to write “the story of your heart”, now all of a sudden you’re faced with writing another story within a strict time frame.
If you’re lucky enough to be in this situation, do you seriously have time to wait for your elusive Muse to jet in from her round-the-world cruise and grace you with her presence, or do you resort to the tried and true BISFOK (Bum In Seat, Fingers On Keyboard) approach?
For those who rely on the former, how do you finish your stories in a set timeframe? For those who use the latter, do you still manage to write “the story of your heart”?
I’d still love to hear your thoughts, whether you write professionally or not.
Have a lovely day and happy writing.
Hostage To Love by Maya Blake