Sunday, February 21, 2016

how to bribe your muse

I get the distinct impression my muse is upset with me. Usually, it's the other way around. Usually, I'm the one ranting and raving because she hasn't shown up for awhile, or she refuses to answer when I call for help.

Lately though, she has been showing signs of irritability. Why, just last night I heard her complaining to the boys in the know--the ones who send up the good dialogue when you least expect it.

It seems I've been assigning her tasks she doesn't enjoy--long, reflective journal entries, and a couple of talks I have to give at an upcoming retreat.

I think she's trying to tell me she wants to get back to storytelling. Every so often she gives me a little nudge--an opening line or an abbreviated plot line. She tags along with me when I walk so I have to stop and take notes every so often. And, she's been waking me up at night, too.

So, today I made a deal with her. She agreed to stop nagging me until I can clear my schedule a bit. She said she'd help me get those short stories revised if I would agree to give the next novel some thought. She promised to stick around for it, but I don't trust her. It would be just like her to wander off again the minute I start writing.

Then I have to coax her back. Sometimes, she accepts bribes. Dark chocolate and good red wine usually work. But mostly, she just likes to hear a good story.

Does your muse ever nag you to get to work on something different? How do you get her to stick around once you start? Or don't you believe in her at all?

"Fool," said my muse to me.
"Look in thy heart and write."
~Philip Sidney~

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