Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Inner Inspiration

I chose this month’s topic, and in a sense I cheated.  I asked the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog: How would you personify your muse?

For many years, I couldn’t visualize my muse.  I couldn’t define it, or even think of it as separate from myself.  But since my fiction dried up, I can see my muse clearly:

Many of you have met Churchill, who I rescued from the Animal Shelter, mostly by accident.  After my ancient, long-blind cat died, I heard on the news that blind cats were euthanized at the Pound automatically, because they couldn’t find homes.  What an awful thought!  Blind cats are quite easy to care for.  Off I went to the Shelter, to sign up for the next blind cat who came in.

Churchill isn’t blind (though he has the normal Persian eye problems), but he came home with me anyway.

BUT, as you can see, he’s not exactly inspiring.  Sweet-tempered, laid-back, and sleepy, he reflects the state of my fiction writing lately.  I can power down on my non-fiction for hours, but when I try to write creatively, my eyes cross, the screen blurs, and I fall flat on my back. ZZZZZZZZZZZ.

This state is more frustrating because two years ago I wrote a book in three months, and revised over the next six months.  Since then, I’ve started two other books, only to get stuck halfway through.  I’m bored to tears with one, and the other has turned into a sequel to a trilogy that desperately needs a total rewrite.  I’m threatening to cut the trilogy down to a single novel …

As you can tell, I’m thinking with my fingertips.  I’m so frustrated with my lack of creativity, I don’t even want to go near my fiction.

What do you do when inspiration – and your muse – fails you?


  1. My muse is auditory. Music inspires me to write and can easily give me the right mindset to get through a rough or lazy time. I've even written a character just because of a song. When I find myself without that creative connection, I dig out some old CDs or lay in the basement and listen to vinyl. Works like a charm.

  2. So would your cat be, like, the anti-muse? :) He lulls you into a state of relaxation! Anyway, sounds like your nonfic is humming along, which is great! As for the fiction--I haven't been writing long enough to have a lot of experience with feeling stuck and uninspired--my problem right now is getting inspired to write something that will sell.

  3. I had to shoot my muse for leaving me stranded in chapter 21. I brought out the big guns. I write YA so I brought out my teen kids and brainstormed my next move. Almost like chess. I had to regroup and conquer. I did. Yesterday after um, a few months. I say find yourself a willing victim, I mean volunteer, and force them to hear you out and offer feedback. It might get the juices flowing.

    Good luck!

  4. I know that feeling. Sometimes I just switch to other projects (usually non-writing ones) until my muse gets itchy and starts pushing ideas at me. But sometimes, I have to let some ideas just go to the side because I'm just not inspired enough to pursue them.
    Hi Churchill!

  5. I like your idea, Julie. Time to hunt up some inspiring music.

    LOL, Sarah! Yes, Churchill is too laid-back to be my muse.

    Hi Elizabeth! Hmm. Hunting down a victim to help me replot might help. Now, who do I know ...

    Yeah, Lydia, I suspect the project I'm bored with needs to go into the trunk. But I *am* getting twitchy about chopping down my trilogy. I may just give that a go.

    Thanks for commenting, y'all!

  6. Churchill may not be the best muse, but he sure is cute!
    I hope you get out of your funk soon. It's horrible to feel those creative juices drying up. At least you know they won't stay dry for long. Something will happen: you'll see a movie, read a great book, hear a noise, and WHAM it'll hit you. It's a good thing lightening really does strike the same place more than once.

  7. Thanks, Emily. I'll be watching for that lightning! And for a less cute, but more inspiring muse. ;-)

  8. Hehe! He's so cute!!!!! Why can't muses be cushy and relaxed? ;)

  9. Hi Laura! Le sigh. Muses can't be too relaxed or the story gets boring. Snooze time. ;-)

  10. Churchill is adorable!
    I don't have a particular muse per se... I suppose I should. Is yours always the same, or does it change for each story?

  11. Hi Rain! Churchill says thank you. ;-)

    This is the first time I've 'seen' my muse. I need to fire him, though, and hire a dragon. Or better yet, a siren. :-D

  12. Deb! Just finished reading your "About My World" section, and I'm blown away. The work you've done is incredible!

    I'm giving out awards on my blog today, and I have one for you! Stop on by if you'd like to collect it! :)

  13. Hi Deirdra! Thank you! I'll ask around about your interview.

    Heya, LisaAnn! Thank you, too! :-)


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