When The Muse Is An Inconvenient Housemate

When The Muse Is An Inconvenient Housemate

It's three in the morning. I was sound asleep, and now... I'm not.

I don't think anything in particular woke me. I just sort of realized I was awake with words and images buzzing around in my brain. Not worries, what-ifs, and to-do lists as is sometimes the case, but coherent phrases and sentences. Usually the same two or three sentences repeated, reordered, refined. Over and OVER until I start writing.

This used to really piss me off. Honestly, some days it still does, but I'm learning to embrace it now. Or at least not fight it so much. Because this is my muse talking. I haven't yet figured out if there's a method to her madness of if she's just on her own schedule and has no sense of timing. I have figured out that there's really no use in ignoring her when she gets like this.

For one thing, it's not like she lets me go back to sleep. Oh, no — she's got something to say. Something for me to write down if I'm smart. If I'm not so smart, I'll spend the next two or three hours telling her (unsuccessfully) to shut up. Let me tell you, that ruins the whole next day, because I can't just get up the next morning and say, "Ok. Now tell me what you wanted me to write down last night..."

"Nope. You had your chance," says grumpy, offended muse. So then we're both grumpy and the inspiration is gone. It can take days, even weeks before she'll talk to me again.

So now my muse and I have a deal. She does her best to visit during waking hours and I wake up and write it down if she just can't wait. Then she lets me go back to sleep. Knocks me right out, in fact. So far, so good. And the result? Some really good work and a lot more inspiration on a much more regular basis. The moral of the story?

You can negotiate with your muse all you want. But don't ever ignore her!

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