Arguments with my muse…

My muse is a bitch. She is pig headed, stubborn and capricious. She works when she is in the mood and can be fantastic, but of late she has increasingly “had a headache”. Half finished stories litter my hard drive, when she lost interest in them. The novel is taking an absolute age to finish. Like I said – bitch!

Recently, I thought that she and I were getting on better. I pandered to her unsociable and inconvenient hours, and with a little bit of pressure from me, I managed to finish part 1 of the novel. Great – lets get on with part 2.

Was she having any of it? Not even slightly.

I had a chapter plan that I had followed (more or less). I knew what I needed to write for the next chapter. Every time I sat down and tried to put fingers to keyboard however, she just made excuses and trawled the internet on my behalf instead.

I tried to lay down the law. I sat in front of my PC and pounded out 2000 words, completing the next chapter. I read it back and absolutely hated it. It didn’t work for a reason I could not put my finger on. The writing was OK for a first draft. There were no glaring errors in the text and it followed my chapter plan, but I was not happy with what I had produced.

No doubt about it, she had her pet lip out and was sulking in the corner.

Then I tried something different. I tried listening to her.

It turns out that the story that I thought I was writing, was no longer the story that she wanted to tell. Not entirely, anyway. Not yet.

At the end of part 1, I had achieved everything that I set out to, and had planned to jump from 1986, back to the present, and get on with the “main story”

Turns out that she had not finished with part 1, even though I thought we had. She wanted to see the consequences of the last chapter. I knew what happened next, but she wanted to see it unfold, rather than have it mentioned in passing, years later.

So, I sat down and started writing again. This time, the words flowed and the story came back to life.

The bitch was co-operating again, and was sitting on my shoulder with a big smug grin on her face.

I hate it when she is right.


~ by graemereynolds on September 8, 2010.

5 Responses to “Arguments with my muse…”

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes we spend so much time wreastling with our muse in order to get our way, we fail to capture all the sweet words she’s willing to give us if we only listen. And how brave of you to call her a bitch. My muse would bitch-slap me if I called her that.

  2. Great post. I’m dealing with that more and more lately. Especially since I’m trying to concentrate on longer works. The longer the story, the more argumentative she gets. I want to go one way, but we go in another. Much like my marriage, though, I often find myself in the wrong and we go along with her way – the right way.

  3. She is not going to bitch slap me, Angel. From the raised eyebrow I can tell that she is plotting some complex and insidious revenge for some point down the line. I am officially nervous, which is just the way she likes it.

    It can be very difficult to hear that voice in the back of your head and recognise it for what it is. In almost every instance when I get “writers block” its because she is telling me something and I am not listening. Its like I am subconsciously tuning out the nagging.

    I am going to have to try harder in my relationship with my muse. By that, I mean try to do as I am told and realise that she knows best.


  4. Loved this post, Graeme. So agree. Laughing at Angel’s bitchslap comment. ;p
    My muse is a hobo prince, and I seduce him with cheesecake.

    I’m glad your muse is purring on your shoulder now. Write on, my friend.

  5. How’s it going, Gray. Is the muse in a good mood, or is she being a right bitch?

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