What’s your M.O. when your creative brain refuses to buckle down and do its thing?
Here’s me the other day, arguing with my Muse:
Me: OK, so, Vivian [new character in Book 3] originally was going to ___________, but now I need her to ____________ instead. [sorry–no spoilers!]
Muse: la, la, la, I can’t hear youuuu….
Me: Help me out here! If Vivian _______ then Jocelyn would have to ___________, and that’s totally out of character. What should I do?
Muse: Well, I dunno, maybe you could–ooh, shiny! Squirrel! All other indicators that my attention is elsewhere!
Don’t know what you do in this scenario. Me? I took my Muse for a walk in the wind. It took an hour and a half, but when we got back, I had my plot unsnarled, and hey! I got some exercise too.
This has happened to me enough that I even wrote a song about it. Don’t have a recording good enough to share, but all you need are the lyrics:
My Muse detests the interstate—in fact she hates to drive
But set my bike on a country road and then she might arrive.
My Muse is happiest outdoors; she’s never at the mall
And in a doctor’s waiting room I can’t find her at all.
But walk along a windy shore and soon she’s joining me
To whisper, prompt, or point me toward what she needs m to see.
She doesn’t love computer keys, but visits when I think
With notebook full of paper and a pen with real ink.
Her favorite drink is Earl Grey—it makes her twirl and leap,
But though wine may make me cheerful, it puts her right to sleep.
She’ll drop in when I exercise; she loves to see me sweat—
Not in a gym all safe and warm, but out in the wind and wet.
A nest of pillows on the couch she doesn’t seem to min
But never if there’s company of the distracting kind
Unless it be a small café with loud, generic din
Then she’ll consent to visit me to lay her treasures in.
But if I’m stuck inside a car, she’ll trail sadly along
And toss me wisps of poetry to turn into a song.
And though the life I call her to is busy, loud and crude,
She’s granted me these humble lines to show my gratitude.
Yeah. So that’s me. What do you do to get your Muse to settle down? Go for a walk, then let me know.
My muse took a very long vacation, but she’s finally back and hangs out with me. She seems to prefer being a car travelling 70 mph on the I-5 corridor. And she likes showers, baths and walks–the latter preferably near salt water. But in a pinch, Lake Washington seems to do.
I know I can’t be more excited about this than you are, Ann–but I’m right behind ya!