Writing Wednesday – When I Hear My Muse

My Writing SpaceI love when I hear my muse.  Sometimes I wish she would stop waking me at 5 in the morning and save it until 7 or 8.  No matter.  I was tickled when I heard her whispering in my ear last Saturday morning.  She whispered insistently for half an hour before I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I got out of bed, went upstairs, turned on the computer, put on a pot of coffee, then started to write.  It was actually the first time I typed an initial draft on the computer. I usually roll over and start scribbling in my notebook in the semi-darkness.  Sometimes I sit at the kitchen table and scribble in my notebook.  I was concerned that typing would be too different from having the words come from my head and through ink onto paper.  But my writing on Saturday morning was no different for being typed.  It may have been better.  My ideas came out of my head onto the screen, if I had something I wanted to confirm or look up the internet was right at my fingertips and I didn’t lose my train of thought or the flow of my writing.  I wrote just over 1300 words that morning.  Not only am I happy that I put that many words in a document but I felt like I finally found my main character.  She’s been hiding, I think.  Giving me glimpses of who she might be, but really making me work for this.  I believe that Saturday morning she finally gave me a really clear image of who she is and where she comes from.

This is what the hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing is for, I think.  When I hear my muse I first imagine that it is magic.  Some writing fairy godmother has decided to bestow upon me a wonderful idea.  Then of course, I realize that probably isn’t the case.  All the worrying and writing that felt forced and trite and contrived and unnatural is part of the process.  The muse won’t come unless some work is done first.  In my mind it’s like a sacrifice to ancient gods.  I sit and write some crap, then feel bad about it and my abilities as a writer – this is the sacrifice.  Once I have humbled myself before the writing gods – ‘I am not worthy.’ ‘What made me think I could write in the first place?’ ‘I’m never going to do this again!’ – a miracle occurs! Cue the light streaming from the sky and disembodied angelic voices.  The muse whispers in my ear (at 4 or 5 in the morning for some reason) and ideas tumble like manna from heaven!  There will be days when I forget that this is the process.  Usually when I am in the gnashing-of-teeth and pulling-of-hair stage of this process.  However, somehow the muse never lets me down.  I have a feeling I have let her down more than once, but it seems that humbling myself before the gods appeases her every time.  I guess I only have to worry about the time when it no longer appeases her.  But, that is a problem I will save for another time!

Be Lovely to Each Other,