I don’t have a lot of time today so here’s my haiku for today:
The elusive muse
dances coyly near then far
Eff off I got this
Fiction writers are fiction writers because of our imaginations, not because of some ethereal muse who may or may not show up when you need it. BREAKING: you are your muse.
Or to be more precise, your brain is your muse. If you loll about on your couch waiting for a muse to sprinkle backstories and plot twists and character flaws down upon you like fairy dust you’ll be lolling and NOT writing.
So you march that idea of a muse right the eff off.
Instead you’ve got to exercise your muse (or more precisely called the cerebellar oblongamakeshitup center, or COC, because it sounds a little dirty and I like it). Instead of counting steps or reps, it’s butt in chair, hands on keyboard.
But Anna, you wail, I write best when I’m inspired by my muse.
That’s awesome. But also bullshit. Inspiration isn’t an outside force. The call is coming from inside the house. It’s your COC.
For example, when starting a brand new story I love lolling about on my oversize rocker (I now very much love the word lolling ) but my brain is sifting through possibilities. All drawn from experiences and interests and things I’ve read, seen, smelled, heard, tasted, etc.. that make my COC uniquely me.
Just as your COC is uniquely you. No one can write YOUR story, so only you make it happen.
Get them all down – seriously, you WILL forget some – and continue stimulating that COC (what? there’s no way in hell that my main character could be a giant forced into the seedy underbelly of the dwarf-throwing world. Unless…). Once on paper or on screen you can whittle them down. Sadly, my giant-in-dwarf-world MC didn’t make the cut…this time. But I’m still calling dibs. DIBS.
Just like there’s no crying in baseball, no I in team, no fire without a spark, no place like home, erm, sorry off track a bit.
There is no fairy dust in writing. So when you pull an idea from your own COC that is amazing, absolutely freaking perfect for your story, you should happy-dance, do the Kermit flail. It’s a beautiful moment and it’s muse-free.
It’s all you, baby.