Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Muse Is Unstable

When you’re in writing mode, do you follow a word quota, a time quota or do you just wait for your muse to arrive, words in hand?
 By Tracy Kiely

Here is my process, broken down in two helpful phases.

Phase One: I give myself a deadline for a first draft and begin writing. Generally, I imagine that I will be writing my book while dressed in some stylish, yet comfortable, white linen ensemble. My house will be clean, organized, and decorated in a way that suggests professional help or a stunning level of personal taste. A cup of hot tea sits beside me on my desk and I type away, not letting distractions interrupt me. I finish ahead of schedule and manage to lose five pounds in the process.

Phase Two: Chaos. After glancing away for a teensy second, my muse ups and leaves.  I don’t know if she ducked out for a quick cigarette or what, but she is MIA. I begin to suspect that she may have been hit by a bus.  Either that or she’s sprawled on a beach somewhere in Cancun. I begin to panic. My tea is cold and I gain ten pounds in one day. I try to clean my house in the hopes that this will lure my Muse back. It does not. I panic some more. After a few months, my Muse returns. She smells horrible and refuses to explain herself. I am so grateful, I don’t care (but I won’t let her sit on the white couch – I’m not delusional). We spit out the book, and I collapse and swear I will never let this happen again.

I, of course, am lying to myself.

Here is the best visual can find to explain my process.  (I’ve edited it for our delicate readers)  


Alan Orloff said...

Ha! Loved the graphic. I think every writer has a *&$@# Off! period. By the way, I'm pretty sure I saw your muse in Lauderdale (not Cancun), stumbling from one bar to the next, trying to keep up with the college kids. Sad, really.

TracyK said...

Is that where she is?? She told me she was giving blood! AGG! Fickle minx!

Alan Orloff said...

After what I saw, the Red Cross wouldn't take her blood.

J. F. Margos said...

Too funny, Tracy - and I needed funny today. :)

Also I am somehow relating to Phase 2... ;)

RJ Harlick said...

I think most of us operate in Phase 2 mode. Great post, Tracy.

Meredith Cole said...

I always imagined that I would write my novels in the bubble bath with a glass of champagne and a box of chocolates (like Barbara Cartland)... Apparently this only works if you have a personal assistant (or two or three). Too funny!

Susan C Shea said...

You didn't know? Watch Albert Brooks sweat his way through until The Muse explains sweetly about little blue boxes!