Personifying your muse

May 14, 2014

Now that I’ve just finished telling you that your muse is a lie, let’s talk about my muse, shall we?

No, I’m not backtracking on what I said before. Muses do not exist, and it’s vital to constantly remember that in order to avoid surrendering responsibility for your productivity. It is useful to define the environment in which you are best able to be creative though, and we humans are much better at responding to stories than lists of facts. So I’ll describe my “muse” as I understand it, and then translate that into prescriptions for myself.

My muse is greedy and selfish. I have trouble writing or editing if I have to fit it into whatever free time I have. I work best when I can devout vast tracts of time to my writing. If I have an hour, I’ll waste time, run out the clock, and get very little done, but if I have four hours, I’ll write well.

The twisted part? If I have four hours, I may only write for an hour anyway. I can’t seem to rush my muse, but when I have plenty of time, sometimes it’ll rush itself. I guess my muse is bad under pressure too.

My muse is possessive. Mental domination is the name of the game. The more I multitask, the worse I do, but when I can give my whole mind to the story – when I’m thinking about it, preparing for it, and looking forward to it even when I’m not writing – then I do well.

My muse is consistent. You could call it business-like. I can sit down and write every day without waiting for the “mood” to strike, and I’m better the more consistently I write. I like to think of it like Miyanaga Teru’s ability from Saki. The first day in a chain might be slow, but the longer I go, the higher my score gets, until eventually the momentum becomes crushing.

My muse is stodgy, but also flexible. It prefers to write in the same place every day, but when I’m out of town, I can write there too. I just need some peace and quiet, and to be away from people and distractions. I guess my muse is antisocial as well.

Finally, my muse is incapable of dreaming small. If most people decided they wanted to start blogging, they would have started their own blog first, but no, I went for Random Curiosity right off the bat. I probably should have started with short stories as well, but no, I had to start with a novel, and the first in a series to boot. My muse dreams big.

Can you picture my muse? Greedy, selfish, possessive, hates to be rushed, consistent, stodgy, flexible, antisocial, and loves to dream big. Can you see it?

My muse is a lie. Those are facets of me, and the environment I need to give myself to create well. I need to give myself plenty of time, even if I don’t use it. I need to think about my story a lot, and only focus on one at a time. I need to write every day. I need to write without distraction. I need to dream big.

The more I learn about my muse, the more I realize it’s just me. That’s the creative Stilts.

What’s your creative you like?

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By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.

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