Sunday, June 17, 2007

Abusing Your Muse?

They did a brilliant article over at Romancing The Blog last month about Messing With The Muse... basically asking the question of whether or not you're one of those people who is diligant in the care and feeding of your muse or whether you fall into that class of people guilty of muse abuse... (go read it - it's important stuff!!!)

I kinda think I'm the latter. Sorry Muse.

And I'm of the opinion that that is a bad thing on many levels - not least of which is the one where the SPCM (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Muses) may well visit my house to hit me and beat me lots (around the ankles obviously due to height restrictions... mind you... if they have wings???) But then there's the masochistic element - cos by abusing and not caring for my muse I'm doing damage to myself in the long run aren't I???

And d'ya know, I think I hadn't realized how dangerous this kind of abuse and neglect could be until this year... particularly after I finished Her One And Only Valentine... when I had that brief haitus between books where my muse was s'posed to magically appear with a brand new book plot like she always had before... and then DIDN'T. I mean nothing, nada, blank board type thing without even a flicker of hope for a new idea. And I kinda PANICKED. I mean OMG what if I'd used up my muse???? What if she looked less like the magical creature in the picture above and more like the one on the left??? Are we allowed another muse if we use up the first one??? Should we be allowed another one having abused and neglected the first???
I feel as writer's we really need to take this kind of thing very seriously!!!
I mean I do feed my muse regular pictures of Hot Guys to cast as hero's... so that's one tick off the list... I let her watch Romantic Movies and RomCom's from time to time and very very occassionally I let her read someone elses books (though this often depresses her!!!) - and there's no doubting I give her plenty of good red wine and coffee to help through the saggy middles of her stories... BUT when it comes to taking her outside of the cave and giving her time off - well - I SUCK.
Any wonder the poor wee soul went on strike!!!
Now thankfully she had given me the plot of His Mistress: His Terms to keep me going and she had definitely given me the bare bones for Getting Even (until Gabe started to cause problems!) but I think until I took her to Lincoln and allowed her a few days off she was quite determined to stand in a corner with her arms folded, tapping her heel while pouting and ignoring my pleading and whining... And really - who could blame her???
A big trip should help her some though, shouldn't it??? Now I just need to think of some other ways to suck up to her... I've wheedled a Romance plot and a Modx plot out of her thanks to Lincoln so she def does reward me when I reward her... But I need at least another Romance plot before the end of the year (AT LEAST) so what shall I do to get her to stop that flipping irritating tapping???
Any suggestions??? And are you a Muse's best friend or guilty of Muse Abuse??? C'mon - fess up... I'll go first...
My name is Trish Wylie - and I abuse my muse.


Rachael Blair said...

I definately neglect my muse!! And recently it went on strike because I'd expected SO much and given SO little. I haven't really done anything for it except let it have a break from Romance while my less creative brain focused on my non-fiction book but it seems to have worked... I'm amped with ideas about how to get back into and give the most to my wip!

Another interesting post Trish...


Melissa Leavitt said...

Can't help you Trish. Mine's still fresh and wrinkle-free, straight out of the box. Haven't really used her yet.

I know! Take up a hobby, like knitting and make it jealous! Or an extreme sport. Or, uh, jeez, I don't know. Buy more shoes?


Donna Alward said...

I'm having a bit of a fun moment seeing Melissa on here (Melissa is the lovely long-time friend who just redesigned my website and blog for me).

Abuse my muse? Well yes, I guess I do. But then I lure her back with promises not to do it again. I make nice and take her on short vacations and she thinks I'm not so bad and indulges me until I do it to her again. I'm probably the worst sort of abuser.

All jokes aside, we really do need to take time to "refill the well" or give our muse time off. And with deadlines and schedules and such it doesn't really seem possible. The only thing I do is make sure every 3-4 months I have a short break where I really don't write ANYTHING. And when I holiday I do not let myself work. Word count wise I'm actually ahead because I do not argue with my muse half as much. We're really much more productive after a nice break. :-)

Donna Alward said...

Oh and btw speaking of talent...Melissa's pic looks just like her and she painted it herself.

Melissa Leavitt said...


Thanks Donna! *huge grin*


Biddy said...

I abuse my muse... but more in an ignoring her sort of way. She is stropping because I haven't been writing and she is getting a little flabby and dusty. Neglect is a form of abuse isn't it?

Natasha said...

You don't think a trip to the States is going to be enough????????? Honestly! You're muse must be darn fussy. Mine is grateful if I go have a bubble bath. :)

Ally Blake said...

My muse is a male. Am I the only one? He's protective of me, and if my hubby makes a disparraging comment about my latest hero inspiration, within a minute he'll manage to kick his toe. Very satisfying.

And I think the pleasure derived from such hijinks has kept my muse in good stead ;).


Trish said...

Okay so what we're saying is I'm not alone in the abuse society and yet there are some of you out there who are nicer than me???


Well I did make an effort and take muse out to pick some wild daisys today... SO GO ME!!!

That means I should get some help with Gabe now, right???