Reading: Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton. Very good.
Watching: a storm raging outside my window.
It's churning up the sea, throwing small branches around, and knocking down the garden. There's not a thing we can do about it.
Which has me wondering - have I ever really had any control over the muse in my head? Ever since I can remember I've had stories in my head. They've been in the background during times of study and exams, during marriage and mortgage, but they've always been there. A bit like having an imaginary friend. Hopefully I'm not going around talking to myself. I haven't noticed people looking at me as though I'm bonkers but they could just be good at hiding their thoughts.
So where did this muse come from? When I was eight I wrote a story that was a bit of a success and tickled the muse. At nine I began ballet lessons because I was going to be a ballet dancer when I grew up but my dad said I was like a leaping heifer. I wrote another story and he enjoyed that. Then I tried the piano. Apparently elephants could tread more delicately on the keys. I wrote more stories, and took out class prizes. As a teen I decided writing and singing songs was my future. Even I couldn't stand that noise.
So back to the writing I went. I always dreamt of becoming a writer, but dreams don't become reality without hard work and goals. Finally when I couldn't shut the muse up at all I set out to write and sell a book. It took time and hard work but we made it. So why was I better at stories than ballet or singing? No amount of hard work would've helped me there. Was I born with a writing gene? Of course people might be taking the safe option and reading my books in case I take up ballet again.
I wondered if the muse would be so happy we made our first sale and then take a back seat or retire. Nope. It's as though the muse has been unleashed. More stories than I know what to do with pop into my head at times. The muse loves going for walks. Only yesterday when I was trying to sort out all the conflicts and backstorries for my current book the muse had plenty to say on our walk and when I got home I had most of the basics worked out. I'd be lost without my silent friend.
Do you all have a muse? Do you work harder on one facet of your life more than others because something is driving you to? Or am I nuts? Maybe don't answer that third question. There are plenty of people in white coats out there .
I've got a copy of Surgeon in a Wedding Dress to give away today.
Finally, after so many years of school and school and vet practice and children and everything, I'm changing most things in my life, going teaching and letting the muse that's been trapped OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! working on my first novel. Excited. I'd love a copy of your Surgeon in a White Dress!!! Thanks for your thoughts!ReplyDelete
Yes, isn't it kind of sad we have to wait until everything else is out of the way before we get on with our writing. A huge number of women authors fist publish in their late 40's and early 50's when they've finally got the time. Good luck with your novel.
I think a muse and daydreaming go hand in hand, don't they. I'll often be staring at nothing, thinking...conjuring...and my husband will shake me and ask what's wrong. You'd think he'd know by now! =)ReplyDelete
Hey, I'm reading Afterward atm too! Love the twist.
Oh, Sue, my muse can get me into trouble. It loves going for a walk too...and I have, on occasion while out on these walks, found myself talking out loud. How embarrassing! I mean, it's okay in the safety of my writer's loft, but out in public on the street? I have copped the odd strange look, but so far no men in white coats.ReplyDelete
Great post Sue. And Michells's words made me laugh. I can't count the number of times I've been caught talking to myself - well really, I was talking to my characters, but saying that makes me sound even nuttier.ReplyDelete
My muse keeps me company... wouldn't be without it :)
Robbie, Afterward is great, isn't it?ReplyDelete
I read something like that and wish I'd thought of it.
Yes, my husband still forgets that I can be there but not there.
Michelle, I stick to walking in the hills just in case I talk out loud. Only the wild life to stare at me there.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Helen. Like you I wouldn't be without my muse. I only hope they understand in years to come when I'm in the resthome for geriatrics.ReplyDelete
You definitely aren't mad, Sue. My muse likes to catch me just as I sleep (which can often stop me sleeping) or just as I wake (which can make me go back to sleep so I catch the end of that dream/thought).ReplyDelete
I've been known to talk to myself - especially shopping, which I hate.
Just reading your comment about the rest home - maybe we need a rest home for writers so our muses can all talk happily!
Cath, that's a brilliant idea about our own resthome. I can see the brainstorming sessions now.ReplyDelete
I don't know how you can go back to sleep chasing an idea. I usually lie awake for hours when that happens. Or write notes in the dark that I can't read the next day.
One author - I think it was Roddy Doyle said to his wife, "I'm not just lying on the sofa doing nothing. I'm busy. I'm writing the Great Novel."ReplyDelete
Zana, I love that. I'm going to quotte it often.ReplyDelete
Glad to see I'm not the only one who talks to herself while she is out & about. I mutter, I sing, I hum: It's not an illness, I don't need the white coats just yet, I'm just feeling the moment.ReplyDelete
Sue, I'm lucky enough to live out in the country so that my walks down our dirt road give me the opportunity to talk to a few dogs, several horses, a herd of cows, the cheeky magpies and myself!ReplyDelete
May the muse be with you!
My muse sucks, if it even exists at all! The only way I think of anything to do with my writing is if I force myself to. Though talking to myself is common but generally nothing terribly literary....ReplyDelete
Marybelle, it's becoming obvious there's a whole crowd of us talking to ourselves out there.ReplyDelete
Sharon, who knows what those horses have to neigh once you've gone past.
Joanne, I'm sorry your muse isn't playing ball. They can be very crafty.
I thank all of your muses for helping you write the books that I love to read. Talking to yourself is a good way to have an understanding intelligent conversation. Nobody else knows you like you.ReplyDelete
Kaelee, you're right. Without muses, we wouldn't have wonderful stories to read.ReplyDelete
Great comments. I'm conscious of talking to myself or to my characters out loud these days. I live in a small town where gossip travels fast and everyone knows everyone. Can you imagine? Men in white coats would definitely be knocking on my door! ;)ReplyDelete
I work hard at my writing like all writers or aspiring writers, and I'm pretty much focussed on that area now, more than anything else in my life. Ten years ago I would've been focussed on family needs and working to make a living. When the house became an empty nest I gave up work full-time so I could write those stories stored in my memory chest, stories and experiences that had stacked up over the years. Now, in my later years, they need to be told.
Joanne, if you're reading this can you email me your address on lsmackay at ts dot co dot nzReplyDelete
You've won a copy of Surgeon in a Wedding Dress.
I'm not sure whether to jump for joy or what. I see there's another Joanne in the comments, that's why. If I have won I'll rock the house down! :)
I tried your address last night and again this morning, but they were returned as failed deliveries. I'll try once more.