I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I sat down to write the other day and...

I sat down to write the other day and realized my muse had deserted me. “Oh dear,” I hear you say. “A writer without her muse? How absolutely scandalous!”

I think I must be psychic, ‘cause I heard those comments before you even thought them yourself. So...I struck out on my own, forged a path through the wilderness, and went in search of that elusive being.

It’s funny, but we hear people talking about their muse all the time. “The muse is strong in me,” “I write when my muse takes me,” “I can’t find my muse.” But we rarely stop to wonder what exactly a muse is.

Is it a little gray being that looks vaguely like an elephant, and is twice as clunky as it runs up and down the stairs? Is it a little faerie-like creature that hates taking a bath but loves to eat Mars Bars (and won’t actually appear until you bribe the little sucker with two or three of those delectable chocolate-y treats)? Or is it more like a purple and orange-striped bumblebee, which zooms around playing quidditch with the marbles you lost years ago?

Oh, some people say that their muse is another person, but for me that isn’t the case at all. And, I’d have to say, at times my muse can resemble any one of the above. Or various other different beings, many of which are rather zany, and some of which would get me locked up quick smart if I even admitted to their presence. “What, you see little pencil-like objects dancing around on the coffee table? Umm...wait right there while I call someone to come and take you away...”

But, you know what? I love having so many different things that inspire me. And while I might be exaggerating (a little bit) about seeing all those fantastical beings, I’m not telling porkies when I say you need to find the thing that inspires you to write, grab a tight hold of it, and go along for the ride.

You never know where you’ll find yourself. And your writing will be so much the richer for it.

(You’ll never guess what happened yesterday. My muse came back lickety-spit when I found a half-eaten Mars Bar tucked away in the back of my cupboard! Guess it’s that little faerie-thingy after all. Until it decides to change into something else...)


For those of you wondering at the randomness of the above post, I’ve written this piece for my First Crusader Challenge (check it out here). Hope you enjoyed what I wrote. And I hope it inspires you to find your muse as well!


Miss T said...

I love it, I love it! I love your Mars Bar-eating faerie-thingy and your quidditch-playing bumblebee and that little black hairy thing with no arms... I love it all!

Bast said...

Love it! I guess it was kinda random, but not really. I like how you started off telling a story, but then got into just a general writing topic -- muses.

As for me, my muse can be anything, but usually it's whatever triggered the project. A music video triggered books one and two -- so whenever I was stuck, I would watch them. A Polish model inspired my new book. I have his picture as the background of my phone so I can be inspired.

Megan K. Bickel said...

Wonderful, Rachael! And so very true. I'm just getting acquainted with my muse, and she is a fickle little thing!

Patricia A. Timms-McGehee said...

I have a Snickers-eatin faerie-thingy, really satisfying. :)

I loved it! Mostly music is my muse and not just any music but any music coming from Pandora.

Faith said...

Haha... well done. I particularly like finding the Mars bar, though I'd definitely be skeptical of half-eaten chocolate in the back of a drawer... LOL

Serena said...

loved your mars bar fiend, and hperactive multi coloured bumble bee.:)
Im posting mine tomorrow. Oh i left an award for you on my blog to day.

Cinette said...

I have a small bag of cookies stashed in my filing cabinet; maybe that will lure the little devil out...;0)

Elena Solodow said...

I think the muse should always be elusive. You cannot squeeze inspiration to death. To own inspiration would be to write something generic forever - because it's really the randomness of inspiration that makes the writing so good, and makes us appreciate the times when our brains aren't sparking.

Unknown said...

I think my muse is ever changing. Slippery little bugger.

Rachael Harrie said...

Hey guys, thanks so much for your comments. I loved hearing about your muses :)

@Rachel - thanks so much :)

@Quinn - Lovely to hear about your different types of muses. I collect photos that inspire my writing too sometimes - it lets you refresh the inspiration every time you look at them...

@Megan - great to hear I'm not the only one with a fickle muse... :)

@Patricia - LOL. And I love that music is your muse. There's just something about music isn't there, that gets those creative sparks flying!!!

@Faith - I hear you! ;)

@Serena - can't wait to read your post. And thanks so much for the award :)

@Cinnette - I'm pretty sure they love cookies!!! :)

@Elena - you're so right, we do need to keep our inspiration fresh so our writing doesn't become stale. That's definitely something to keep in mind

@Anne - those muses can be slippery little suckers, can't they!

N. R. Williams said...

I loved the bumble bee quidditch member playing with my marbles...LOL. A nice treat this early in the morning.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Tessa Quin said...

My muse is a lime-green journal I keep to free-write in. When I start, I just keep going and going and all sorts of ideas pop up.

A Pen In Neverland: Angela Peña Dahle said...

The little dude at the bottom looks like an evil furry eyeful from the book Kartusch or the book Gabby

Here is a link so you know what I mean:


Gosh all this muse stuff makes me want to do research on the matter! Like the origins of it all. Where did it all begin? What are some authors strangest/most interesting descriptions of a muse? The list of questions is endless!

Adina West said...

Bring on the Mars Bars. I don't know if they help with the inspiration, but I'm willing to give it a shot if you happen to have one handy...

Rachael Harrie said...

Tee hee, thanks @N.R. Hope it doesn't rattle your marbles around too much!!! :)

@Tessa, ooh, lime green. Hard to ignore if you're trying to procrastinate! :)

@Angela, can't wait to read your post on muses ;)

@Adina, I might have one or two left, come on over! LOL

Grandpa said...

I have been a-mused, a long time ago. Does this count?

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