Fighting the Muse

I’m fighting with my Muse.

The Muses dancing with Apollo, by Baldassare Peruzzi (source: Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve been fighting with her for several weeks now. There is project due at the end of January and as hard as I try to be disciplined about it I just can’t seem to make any progress. This usually happens when I’m writing on a theme and can’t come up with a marketable idea. That was the last one of these projects – great ideas – all of them completely wrong for the publisher.

This time, the idea isn’t the problem. The idea is sound. I have the characters, the plot, everything. I have notes and outlines – what I don’t have is words. I started writing last month, wrote the beginning, realized that I needed to make the plot move faster in the first few pages, figured out what was wrong and then just stalled.

Nothing… for days… weeks…

So today I decided to play with Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die application. I’m not really a competitive person but every now and again something comes along that amuses me and make me not want to lose. I know that when I have to I can write and write and write. It might be junk but I can always put words on paper.

The app feeds into that vanity.

So – this morning I started, using Write or Die to help me tease out my Muse and get this project moving. Like an infusion of caffeine in the morning it is making my little gray cell hop to it.

Which worked!

I wrote something mostly crap but it was crap that was headed the right direction.

The point of freewriting, timed writing, and Write or Die is to quiet the judges in our heads. Kill the critics that are tearing apart every sentence, work, and thought. To go to that place where the magic happens, and the ideas flow from brain to hands without any filters.

It’s funny – every story is different and the path of how the story is written is unique. I never seem to be able to find a process and repeat it. Someday I may figure out how to do this job – but where would be the fun in that?

~ Tess Anderson


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