The Muse on Writing

The Muse & the Marketplace
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Just a little bit. She has to see you putting in the work. Is it fun? Will you want to throw your computer at the wall on some days?

Overcome the Writing Blahs: 7 Ways to Make Yourself Irresistible to the Muse

By the simple act of showing up and putting one letter next to another, then one word next to another, and one sentence next to another you WILL improve. Do I look like a fucking psychic? You may write your first piece and be critically acclaimed. You may write your th piece before you get the recognition you know you deserve.

Who cares?

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Writing is more than a way to make money — although that is a fringe benefit of good writing. At its core, writing is a way for you to express your inner yearnings. It can be daunting. I wrote roughly , words last week. Grammarly caught about half of them.

I keep putting in the work and the craft continues to reward me. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky has a few words to say on the subject:. I start all my books on January eighth.

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Can you imagine January seventh? Every year on January seventh, I prepare my physical space. I clean up everything from my other books. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website.

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Do you want to be one of them?

The Muse, the Critic and the Novel Writing Process

I'm Ready For Success. Featured On:. Are you writing but getting stuck trying to answer too many questions to make progress? How do I publish a book?

The Muse Writers Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Learning how to find your inner muse and write more creatively will not only improve the quality of your writing; it will make the journey a lot more fun. classes to jumpstart your creativity & writing, general creative writing, memoir & creative nonfiction, flash nonfiction, When you take a class at The Muse Writers Center, you'll find yourself part of a diverse community of writers in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Live The Author Lifestyle. If the telephone rings in mid-flow, the muse is liable to rip the cord from the wall.

Quote by Stephen King: “There is a muse, but he’s not going to come flu”

And so to save the muse from being disturbed and to save you from having to buy new telephones , allow the critic within you to prepare the ideal working conditions before work gets underway…. In short, the critic must do everything necessary to ensure that the muse has no excuses to snap his pencil in disgust and go shoot some golf instead.

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Tell the critic that his turn will come later, when it is time to revise the draft. It happens to the very best of us. I can control whether I decide to work hard or put my butt in the chair or master my craft. The muse, as I have said, can be prone to laziness. When I came to the Muse I was in the middle of applying to schools and I wanted feedback on some of my older work.

The muse loves the good thwack of a golf stroke. Given the choice between writing words on paper or typing them onto a screen and staring out the window at the clouds drifting by, the clouds win every time. The muse, remember, is lazy. And even when the words do come, the critic will find it difficult to fight his natural tendency to edit what he has just written. Sooner or later, though, the muse will tell the critic to budge over and give him some space.

And then, like magic, one sentence will lead into the next sentence.

“Attending the Muse”, or Your Writing Discipline

That will lead to another. Tell the critic that his turn will come later, when it is time to revise the draft. Then kick him out the writing room.

Character Worksheets

Do you know why revision, generally speaking, is an easier process than writing the draft in the first place? Because it is a more mechanical process, one carried out by the efficient critic, not the temperamental and work shy muse. He is also good at checking the spelling and punctuation and looking out for typoos typos. However talented and capable you may be as a writer, and however willing you are to work at it, you still have plenty to learn because every writer does.

One of the best ways to learn is from your mistakes, and that means receiving constructive feedback positively. When you do receive criticism from friends, family, folks you meet online, whoever , make sure that it is your inner-critic who listens, never your muse. At the slightest hint of negativity, he will either slump into a depression or dismiss the giver of the feedback as a moron and quite possibly both.

Screw the Muse: Write Without Her

Not only will this make you look bad if you happen to be in the same room as the person providing the feedback they will be able to see it on your face, however hard you try to disguise it. It will also make you deaf to their potentially invaluable comments. Your inner-critic loves praise, too. But he is wise enough to know that constructive criticism can be very useful indeed. And so he will receive it like the gift that it is.

And if the feedback is indeed moronic, the critic will at least accept it with good grace… before respectfully ignoring it. When you tell people you are writing a novel, they will naturally ask you what the book is about. But keep it vague. And that can be fatal. The muse, you see, simply likes to create. Not only will some of the pearls the muse provides you with at the table be lost the next day memories being what they are. It sometimes needs to be restrained.

The writers who fail to do this are the ones with two chapters of an abandoned novel gathering dust at the back of a drawer. They started the project in a creative frenzy… but soon said everything there was to be said. So they quit. If you view the planning process as tedious, you will probably suffer the same fate. So if craft must always come before art i. But, still, what the muse really wants to do is write the first draft. And the planning might drag on for weeks and weeks.