Wednesday, October 7, 2009

To Muse or Not to Muse - That is the Question

Does your muse guide you along your writing process? From the moment you put pen to paper; fingers to keyboard?

Do you write effortlessly with your muse whispering in your ear the characters' dialogue and emotions?

Does your muse lead you through an extensive outline so near perfect that you can write your entire story with nary an edit that you can draft and submit?

Or are you like the rest of us, who must nurture our muse and plead with our muse not to leave us high and dry while we struggle to write our first draft and then as we rewrite through the second and subsequent drafts?

Writing is a lonely profession and the only companion we have is our muse. So, we must treat it with kindness and love. Stroking its ego.

Robert Fulton Jr. in his book, But You Know What I Mean! asks, "Does a muse live in your soul, ready to inspire you at a moment's notice?" He goes on to say, "Some are vocal and others are tacit. Sometimes they are overpowered by our fear and insecurity."

Muses are sensitive creatures. And, no doubt they will abandon us at time, resulting in writer's block. However, we must persevere and continue to write.

Because, as Robert Fulton Jr. says, "When inspiration happens, treasure the moment. But know that you can write even if your muse takes a vacation." While your muse is on vacation you can get through your writer's block by following your outline or plan. Use the "what if" strategy.

Finally, I'll leave you with one last quote from Mr. Fulton: "If being a writer is important to you, make time every day and write. The productivity can be as powerful as any muse."


  1. Thanks for the encouraging post, Vicki. Very inspiring!

  2. Thanks, Debra, I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

  3. As a non-fiction writer, I don't know if I would call it a "muse." I am inspired to write by my life's happenings. yes, there is a voice that speaks to me as I write it on paper--but it isn't so much to encourage me as it is to refresh my memories and thoughts. Is that considered a "muse"? If it is, then I can say my good old muse has abandoned me on several occasions :) but thankfully, does show back up.

  4. I think anything visceral that motivates you to write, can be a muse.

    Mine, too, has come and gone at times. She is a flighty entity.

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