Interview with the Muse
Anna: Welcome back, everyone! Today we’re joined by my Muse, Lexie. Thank you for joining us today.
Lexie: Pleasure to be here, Anna.
A: Why don’t you tell us what a muse is?
L: Sure. There’s two definitions. The first: (in Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences. The second:
a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.
A: I take it you fall under the second definition?
L: Yes. Nothing against the males, you understand, but females are much more creative and inspiring. After all, we have the beauty and the brains.
A: Can’t argue with that. So how do you inspire someone to write?
L: Inspiration from a muse can come in many forms. For example, the author may be having problems with a scene in their story. No matter what they do, it seems off and they can’t put their finger on why. They walk away from the computer or set down their pen and go do something else. While they are busy with other things, a voice whispers in their mind “Try writing it this way instead.” The voice explains what needs to be changed. The writer hurries back to their work, does as the voice suggests and the scene is fixed.
A: What about the bolt from the blue?
L: I love doing those! A gift from Papa Zeus. The writer is busy working away on a book, when out of the blue they are hit by a new character and a new story! No matter how hard they try to resist, they find themselves constantly thinking and dreaming about it. Finally, they sit down and start writing until they get the first draft finished. If a muse is really feeling her oats, she’ll do it again, just for the fun of it.
A: What annoys a muse?
L: Whining! By Zeus! Don’t sit there and complain that you have nothing to write about! There are a million things you can put down on paper or type into the computer. If you took a walk, write about what you saw and heard. If you watched a movie the night before, write about how it made you feel. Don’t you dare say you have nothing to write. You chose to be a writer, so sit at the desk, and do it!
A: Isn’t that a bit harsh? Shouldn’t you be a bit more gentle with the writer?
L: No. They chose this path in their life. If they are serious about writing, then that’s what they need to do. Don’t talk about what you are doing or planning to do, just do it! Sorry. Hanging around you, I tend to see what you read on FB and in WW. Writers complaining they aren’t good, or need ideas for what they should write. Those people have muses, but they refuse to listen to them. It bugs the heck out of me.
A: Have I annoyed you?
L: A few times. I know for a while there you were too exhausted physically and mentally to concentrate on writing. Which is why last year I hit you with two lightning bolts, instead of one. You were ready to get back to writing in a major way and I helped you along.
A: The one was bad enough. I worked on the first draft every day for five months. Then, as I got toward the end of it, you hit me with a new character and a book idea.
L: I know, but you’re handling all your projects very well. You’re learning to fix your mistakes too, another plus to my way of thinking. That was a smart thing you did joining Writers World and readily accepting the critiques for the excerpts you posted.
A: Thank you. One more question: What advice do you have for the writers and would-be writers out there?
L: Listen to your muse. Whether it’s a voice in your head or not, listen to it. If you ignore your muse, you will find yourself struggling with new ideas to write. We’re here to help you, so don’t ignore us. Also, toss us the occasional chocolate bar and a cup of hot coffee. We can always use the extra energy.
A: Thank you, Lexie.
L: You’re welcome, Anna. I’ll be nice and try not to hit you with a major bolt from the blue. Maybe a couple small ones instead.
A: You’re too kind.
May the words ever flow!