Sunday, May 17, 2009


What I'm Listening To: Simple Plan - Me Against the World

What I'm Doing: Still reading Sunshine and contemplating running down to 7-11.

This is probably going to be brief; I'm exhausted for some unnameable reason (and I was fully expecting unnameable to turn up with a red line underneath it, because it looks so weird. un-name-able. XD) but I had to put something down about it.

Where does your creativity come from? Do you have a mental 'well' into which you dip a cup? Is it just something that you do? Or do you have a 'muse' of creativity or inspiration?

For me, it's the last.

I have, to date, two specific muses, each with their own personality and names. It is, admittedly, a bit like having a split personality at times (or being schizophrenic; whichever.) because these 'muses' are like people in and of themselves. They have personalities, they 'speak' to me. I've just admitted the reason most authors are loners - they've got enough voices inside their heads, they don't usually want voices out of their heads too. And if I don't treat these muses right - by trying to write something they're not willing to work on, or by trying to force the ideas out of them - they abandon me, and I'm left with writer's block.

And like real people, when my muses are overworked, they need breaks. I used to say that this was 'refilling my writing gauge' - like a gas tank, my creative muses were empty, and needed to recharge. I'm going through that at the moment; I haven't written a single word in days, because I know from long experience that trying to force the muses to do what I want when I want, when they DON'T want, will just result in something so horrifying that it's better to just let them be. Eventually they recharge, and the need to write so overwhelms me that I can think of doing nothing but.

This is also the explanation for why work on Eversong (outlines, character details) was started in August of last year, but the actual writing process itself only began a few weeks ago. I was so wrung out from creating everything that I had nothing left over for actually WRITING it.

But even now, after several days of not writing anything, after feeling like Eversong was a dead end and wasn't ever going to go anywhere, and even after starting a new novel altogether because I didn't think I could work on Eversong any more - I'm feeling the need to start working on Eversong again. It's rising inside me like a tidal wave, and when it breaks, it's going to bring with it several pages and several thousands of words with it.


  1. I'm always interested to hear what inspires other authors. How great it must be to have not one, but two people in your life that inspire you. Many are not so lucky.

    For me, it's a combination of things.
    1) the media (or is it medium? I can never remember the singular vs. plural distinction, darn it). Occasionally I watch a television show or a movie and think, "What if they used character A instead of character B and took it this direction instead ..." and a new idea is born. Other times, I hear about someone's real life story, and I think, "Wow, that sucks--now what if this had happened instead ..."
    2) People. I always find people inspiring, especially for mannerisms and believability of my characters. My sister is probably my greatest inspiration, b/c something exciting is always happening to her. I live vicariously through her.
    3) Music, music, music. I can't remember a plot for a story that I've pulled from a song, but scenes are another story. I cannot write while I'm listening to music, because for me, music doesn't belong in the background. But with the right song, I can develop twenty pages worth of writing in my head. I've created, in my opinion, some of my most powerful scenes by putting a song on repeat until I've hammered it all down, and then running to my keyboard to braindump everything (which, b/c I'm usually on the go, I have to polish up later).
    4) Other people's writing. Reading inspires me to write. Finding characters I like or dislike inspires me to be better, to write better, to make my characters more believable.
    5) Morning pages. I hate hate hate mornings. I can barely even move, much less think, when I wake up. This slows down the writing, some times resulting in NO writing, which I really don't have time for given my full time job. So I recently tried the morning pages--you know, write about whatever, so long as you keep the pen moving. Try to write at least 3 pages. It's supposed to help clear the clutter. And you know what? It kind of does. Unfortunately, I still can't wake up early enough during the week to get this done, but I'm learning.
    6. Work. I'm a dependency attorney, which means I see a lot of kids that are going through DCF/foster care and how that affects them. I'm curious as to what these kids go through (& many times heartbroken by it), as well as what drives the parents to, many times ... well ... suck so badly. I think there is good in every person, but that good is often complicated by greater underlying issues. I have a couple of storylines that I haven't started yet, but I'm anxious to get to them.
    7) Writing prompts. I must admit I haven't used them in awhile, but they were amazing at getting scenes written in the earlier stages of my manuscripts. I miss having the free time to sit in a group amongst other writers, with a can of salmon cat food in my hand to inspire a scene.
    8) Pillow talk to myself. To be honest, I don't know where most of my ideas come from, at least the initial "I have a story!" idea. Quite often, I'm daydreaming, or lying in bed unable to sleep, when a character comes into my head and says, "Hey, I have a story--What about this? I'd guess it's a combination of everything that happened to me that day or that week, but I can't say for sure.

    I have long bouts of writer's block, and it is intensely frustrating. Sometimes, I think it's best to take a step back and breathe. Other times, I know that if I don't write something, no matter how lame, I'll never get over the hump. I do find that it helps to skip the scene that haves you stumped and work on something else, at least when you're telling a story that gives you such luxury. I wrote my current story in so many pieces that it's kind of crazy--the middle, the beginning, the middle, the end--but it kept me writing in the hardest of times.

  2. And now, b/c I don't know where else to post it that I'm sure you'll actually see it, my reply to your comment:

    I remember calling you Omni. Silly me with my partially blind eyes ... The reason I was so flattered by your comment wasn't because you liked my story (although that was obviously a huge part of it) as it was because I had seen many of the comments you left on other people's entries, and you were honest. I like honest. And it had to take a hell of a lot of patience to comment on everything (or almost everything), because even I couldn't make myself do that. I picked the 5 or so that interested me the most by the first lines/paragraphs, and then I took it from there.

    What's most annoying about the word choice the agent spoke of was that it wasn't in my original piece. Or in my first edited version of that piece. But then, somewhere along the line, I said ... "What's a synonym for wet?" I didn't know it would give off a violent, hands disintegrating image. But ah well ... live and learn.

    I don't think I could be an agent, either--too much to wade through, too many fears of losing the next good thing, taking on too mcuh so that I won't miss out on anything ... I'm much more into the craft that the selling of the craft.

    I wish you had entered so that I could see some of your writing. I'm not sure if you've ever posted any on here, other than first lines, which I did read through (which, if I'm remembering correctly, all created tension from the onset). I noticed that MSFV also has a "drop the needle" contest, which could be interesting to enter if it comes back around.

    I think we are all in that constant state of worry you speak of, the one where we think, "Crap, so-and-so's piece was soooo good. Mine will never be like that! What am I doing? What is this crap that I'm writing? I need to be better!" I believe that our brains take us to these places b/c we are our worst critics at times. Sure, you love Eversong, and it's hard to separate yourself from it to see what's wrong and/or missing. But if you read one of your pieces searching for reasons to hate it, you'll find them. That's a good and a bad thing, but it helps us to be better.

    I love being surrounded by others with talent that are putting ideas to paper/word document, developing new worlds that once lived only within themselves. I'm glad that you're sticking with Eversong and pushing past the dead-muse spots and the fears, b/c I think you have a lot of story to tell. The more you write, the better you'll get at what you love to do. I think one day, I may post the first 250 words of a few of my pieces--completed manuscripts, short stories, and uncompleted pieces--so I can see if my writing has progressed at all. I feel like it has, but hell, I'm a little biased. :)

    By the way, you think YOU talk too much? Geez, have you SEEN my neverending story replies back? To answer your question, I think I have YIM but I haven't used it in years, so I probably took it off of my computer. As for MSN, I do have that, BUT ........ I made my login ID over a decade ago, so try not to make too much fun:
    I know, monsterously lame ... but back in the day, my friends and I all thought it was oh-so-cool (which calls into question the actual level of my coolness), and each made our own lame "lovesya" accounts.

    Back to work for me. (btw, if my comments seem entirely disjointed and unresponsive to the actual post and comment, I blame my work brain. It has taken over.)