a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.
One of the first things I thought of when I saw a class offering to help writer’s connect with their “Muse” faster…or easier was this: “What muse?” Or worse: “What if I don’t have a muse. Does that mean I’m not a good writer?!” Panic set in. I needed to find my muse. As a beginning writer, I would have taken any muse. Your muse…the neighbor’s muse…even my cat’s muse! Someone had to have a muse I could borrow. Because, really? I didn’t have a muse…or so I thought.
As I wrote my stories, I would get caught up in the story. To me, writing was like putting down on paper the movie I would see in my head. It was awesome. One day, during a scene I had plotted out in detail (I mean, every detail…who stood where, which hand was lifted…well, you get my meaning), something really wild happened. The hero did something totally unplanned. I was typing away and… BAM! He did something totally unexpected. I was so surprised, that I actually lifted my hands from the keyboard, sat back and spoke out loud to nobody. “Wow, what did you do that for?” This was quickly followed by: “Wow…that really works. I love it!”
Towards the end of the story, a secondary character started trying to take over scenes. He really did try to make the story about him. It got to be very frustrating. So, one day, I stopped typing and spoke out loud (Really? Don’t all writers do this at one point or another?). I said “Hey! Stop that! This story isn’t about you.”
That’s when it happened. This secondary character stepped out of my story and crossed his arms and looked right at me (in my head, of course…I’m not THAT…well…never mind.). He heaved a deep breath and said “Fine. I’ll step back, for now. But, the next story will be mine. I need my own story.”
Then it began…he just had to give me his opinion on nearly everything I wrote. When I decided to genre hop to historical, he miraculously changed his clothes to reflect the period I wrote in and continued with his opinions. His ideas…they were good. Sometimes, he’d snicker at me. Other times, he’d give me his wicked sexy grin and nod, confirming I was on the right track.
I’d found my muse. His name is a secret. But, for this blog, let’s call him Mr. N, and he’s a very alpha male, which makes his presence extra nice to have around. He helped me figure out problem areas in my stories. He’d even talk to my other characters and give me insight on their motives.
Then…a year ago he got mad at me. I think it’s because I had some major personal events that I allowed to keep me from writing. He left in a huff. He’s waiting for me to grovel and beg him to return. I resisted for six months. Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t written anything new in six months!
I did what I’d heard writers should do. I put my hands on the keyboard and JUST KEPT WRITING…anything. One day, out of the blue, Mr. N returned. I missed my muse. But his absence taught me determination. Irritating man.