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Contemplating your muse…

posted in: Writing Life | 4
By: Rennett Stowe

With CP Bialois’ post about his muse and the resulting conversation, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to bring a variation of an old post out. See, my first book was actually told from the point of view of a muse. It followed one named Clarissa through the ages as she dealt with a nervous musician, a budding politician, and others.

It was an interesting project that made me ponder a lot of questions. Who is my muse? What does my muse think about those times when I get frustrated and accuse them of abandonment? Does a muse approve of the trend of remakes and our human tendency to be afraid of failure?

After writing it, I officially adopted Clarissa, the muse in question, as my personal muse. I try to give her as much attention and stimulation as possible. I take walks, listen to music, and consume lots of organic energy smoothies with chocolate in them to make my deadlines. I try to make a conscious effort to listen when she speaks and spend some time at the computer.

So, I am curious: who is your muse? Have you given them a name? What do you do to make sure you’re both on the same page as often as possible? I’d love to hear what you all think.

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Jamie White is a music addict, book lover, pet servant & NaNoWriMo survivor. When she's not busy writing posts for CultureShock, she's taking pictures for her photo blog and spending time with her husband and pets. She released Stains on the Soul and Clutter via Pagan Writers Press in 2013.

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4 Responses

  1. Ed Ireland
    | Reply

    Hi Jamie,
    OK, so my wife is Cuban and she’s been a major influence and inspiration for me since we met. So through the years, my muse has definitely taken on the aspects of a woman. I do try to feed her as much as I can but I also demand a lot from her. I’ve given her this persona of a dark Spanish woman named Marisol Trinidad. I will say “We need to write a chapter” and she will typically answer with “Iz too hot now. We do eet tomorrow morning.”
    Of course, this is not the answer I want to hear and I’ll demand we write. Then she’ll say something like “Hey Cabrone! Let me tell something to ju. JU DON OWN ME!” She’ll stomp off and I’ll stomp off and nothing will get done. All night she’ll whisper little ideas and goodies in my head and then the next morning I’ll get up early. I’ll fix her a nice cup of Earl Gray because as she has told me often, oil of bergamot is the actual smell of love. With this offering, she pokes her cute little head out and sits on my shoulder, telling me the story so I can write it down.
    Of course, it comes down to a mutual respect. I love her for the fantastic way she weaves her tales and she loves me for my fat fingers that work the keyboard so well and fix her Earl Gray so perfectly. Together, we’re unstoppable.

    • Jamie White
      | Reply

      LOL. As long as it works, right? 🙂 Maybe she’ll share some of that tea with Clarissa.

  2. Jade Kerrion
    | Reply

    My muse is a schizophrenic, gender-changing SOB with random mood swings (not manageable through chocolate or caffeine) and absolutely no respect for sleep cycles. S/he tends to resemble the lead protagonist of whatever story I’m telling. Her/his sole redeeming feature is that s/he has an absolute terror of deadlines and when faced with one, is inexorable (and a pain to live with.)

    • Jamie White
      | Reply

      Sleep? What’s that? Oh right…. that weird thing you mortals seem to like so much. Just so you know, it’s not conducive to productivity. — Clarissa the Muse

Leave a Reply to Jade Kerrion Cancel reply