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Write Much Lately?

May 18, 2014

Image courtesy of Elena Elisseeva @ StockfreshI hear a loud slurping sound as I open my morning pages. Suspiciously, I type, “What is it now, Muse?”

And there he is sprawled in the middle of my screen, legs askew, wings spread out behind him. He looks up at me with dark-rimmed eyes and blows another stream of bubbles through the straw in his daiquiri. At least half a dozen empty glasses lie discarded beside him.

He finishes his drawn out bubbling, then wipes the foam from his mouth with his sleeve. “Write much lately?” he asks.

“As a matter of fact,” I reply, “Yes, I have written quite a bit. I put together a post for the How To Think Sideways Boot Camps blog, and wrote another wrapping up the A to Z Challenge, and there’s that critique I need to do. I know—” I stop typing when I realize that none of these endeavors involves writing fiction of any sort. “Okay,” I concede, “I get it. You’re feeling neglected. That doesn’t mean you should start drinking.”

He takes a long slurp from his straw, emptying the glass, then says, “It’s Friday night. Party time.”

“Not for me it isn’t. I’ve got a night of revision ahead of me.”

“How’s that going, Writer-babe?” he asks and rises unsteadily to his feet, then stumbles off the screen and into my office. He grabs the corner of my massive bookshelf as he peers over my shoulder at the words that stutter onto the screen. “You’re getting out of practice,” he observes.

“I know, but you’re not helping.”

All I get in response is a loud belch.Image courtesy of Anton Balazh @ stockfresh

“Tell me something, Morpheus …” I type. He straightens at the sound of his name. “Why is it that I always get pulled away from what I love the most? How do I always end up feeling detached from the stories that brought me here in the first place?”

“You know the answer to that,” he slurs. Clumsily he edges down to the floor, and with uncharacteristic awkwardness, leans against the wall.

“I do?” I ask. “Tell me: Why can’t I be focused and calm and happy and write nice words that don’t sound awkward? Why can’t I bang out blog posts and then switch over to writing a scene or two of my novel, then kick out a few short stories for good measure?” I wait for his reply, although he’s right: I do know the answer. I just want to hear him say it.

“Because you get so hung up on being a writer that you forget about the writing.” He sags back against the wall from the effort of speaking and closes his eyes.

“Yes.” I sigh. “Remember when I first started writing, and all I could think about was the words I was going to write when I got home from work? I didn’t worry about whether my scenes made sense, or if my antagonist was ever going to show up, or if my story would be relevant, or marketable. It was all about the story and the characters– chocolate cake every single time I sat down to write, no soggy vegetables or meat by-products. All juicy steak and fine wine.” As I was making myself hungry I looked over at Morpheus to see that he’d passed out, his silver crown fallen haphazardly over one eyebrow.

“Morpheus?” I type and then reach over to poke him. “We’re not done here.”

“Huh?” He hiccups and then rubs his bleary eyes.

“I was trying to talk about why I can’t find that special writing place anymore.”

“Sure, yeah. That special place. When you gonna finish some of those stories I gave you?”

He looks so forlorn down there on the floor, his eyes bloodshot, his clothes wrinkled and dirty. “You’ve been letting your hygiene slip again. You look like a homeless person,”Image Courtesy of Feng Yu@ StockFresh I remark.

He grins up at me. “Who says I’m not?”

“I do. You have a home right here next to my writing desk, and in my heart.”

“My head hurts,” he replies and rubs his temples.

“Why don’t you take a nap then? And come back later once I’m done with all my blogging?”

“Blogging,” he mutters as he shuffles into the bedroom to curl up next to my cat. “World’s most stupid invention.”

“I heard that!” I call after him, but close my pages and head to the worldwide web.silver-swirls

How about you, faithful friends and followers? Are you hung up on being a writer? Or are you too busy writing? And, what is your muse’s favorite beverage?


Daiquiri image courtesy of Elena Elisseeva, letters courtesy of  Anton Balazh,  heart on a chain courtesy of Feng Yu, all @ Stockfresh, my new favorite stock image site. 🙂

  1. May 18, 2014 7:28 am

    So hung up on being a writer you forgot to write. He’s right you know. We over-think the writing part rather than just doing it.

    • May 18, 2014 5:47 pm

      Yes, sometimes between all the feedback, critiques, craft books, and good advice, I think I might just be trying too hard!

  2. May 18, 2014 9:08 am

    Great post, one I can identify with. My Muse is drinking Pepto Bismol.

    • May 18, 2014 5:49 pm

      Thanks Sourgirlohio 🙂
      Pepto Bismol, huh? Poor thing!

      Welcome to A Scenic Route!

  3. May 18, 2014 11:02 am

    Kirsten – i LOVE this post! Your Muse is so alive and your conversation so real and imaginative. I hope you don’t stop writing here at “the world’s stupidest invention” and I hope you “hurry” with your much anticipated (by me) novel. No pressure, though 🙂

    • May 18, 2014 5:54 pm

      I’ll tell you a secret, Sammy D … as much as the Muse complains about being featured on my blog, he secretly loves all the nice comments he gets. B-)
      As for this novel, it’s taking me forever to cobble together and figure out what to do with it, but (on the good days) I think it will be worth the wait when it’s finished. 🙂

      • May 18, 2014 10:33 pm

        Your writing is si expressive, I’m positive it will be worth the wait :-). And that Muse shou lay off the booze !

  4. May 18, 2014 1:10 pm

    As always, Morpheus hit the nail on the head. I spend waaaay too much time with electronic time wasters than ACTUALLY writing.

    My muse’s favorite summer drink? Corona and lime!

    • May 18, 2014 5:58 pm

      I’ve found the blog is a great way to put up some words for people to read and learn to edit and all that other fun stuff–so I do consider it writing. But … it’s not fiction, and that’s why the Muse is having this conniption.
      Yum, Corona. My MC in The Tempest’s Serenade prefers those as well. 🙂

  5. May 18, 2014 5:07 pm

    My muse’s favorite drink is coffee of course 🙂 And I think the relationship between you and Morpheus would make a wonderful novel!!! Not only would your fellow writers LOVE it, but people are fascinated by novelists and our process . . . step into my school any time and you’ll see that. Good luck!

    • May 18, 2014 6:05 pm

      That’s funny you should say that, Jamie. I have been collecting all my Muse writing (there are many, many rants, observations, and explorations that no one ever sees because that is my brutally honest place to write) and I have over 85k words of this stuff!
      If I’m ever famous, (yeah, right! 😉 ) or really bored, maybe I could edit it into something fit for consumption. I always laugh at myself when I read it, and sometimes get teary eyed …

      And coffee was a close second for me too, but it’s spring and the Muse was feeling out of sorts. 🙂

  6. Loni Townsend permalink
    May 19, 2014 9:38 am

    You are so entertaining (and so is your muse)! I’m not so much hung up on being a writer, as I am stuck writing the stuff that’s secondary to what I really want to write–like Murder Most Fowl for A to Z or the character flash fiction for my critique group. Just let me work on my next novel! 😀

    • May 19, 2014 8:01 pm

      Thanks, Loni 🙂
      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who sometimes just wants to burrow deep into my story and not come out! I know short stories, flash fiction, blog posts, and critiques all help me improve, but let’s face it, my Muse doesn’t care about that. ‘He’ just wants to write! 🙂

  7. May 29, 2014 1:20 am

    My muse seems to have died until a few weeks ago. Nice post!

    • May 29, 2014 9:35 pm

      Thanks, Gina!
      That’s the cool thing about Muses: Since they’re imaginary, they never really die, do they? I’m glad yours is back. 🙂

  8. May 30, 2014 8:18 am

    How did I miss this! (One word–Debut…that’s how. :P)

    This is wonderful! You should write a romance in which the heroine (an author) has a muse like Morpheus who comes and talks to her when she’s alone. What a setup for some hilarious and touching scenes!

    • May 30, 2014 3:20 pm

      What a fantastic suggestion!:) Honestly, I have so many words of these conversations, and would love to put them together into … something.
      Having a character (not me!) do these just might work. Thanks, you clever writer, you!

      (You ARE bound and determined to get me published, aren’t you? I’m onto your not-so-evil plan. 😉 )
      (And if this story ever really does come together you can be sure I’ll credit you! 🙂 )

  9. May 30, 2014 3:44 pm

    I have such a vivid picture of your muse. I hope mine comes around soon, I keep feeling the need to work on what I’ve written but just…not doing it. Hope mine’s bossy.

    • May 31, 2014 3:07 pm

      Mine knows I don’t respond well to pressure (maybe I’ve got too much of that in my real life?) but is really good at making me feel sorry for him.
      As you can see!
      I hope yours comes around soon as well. I’d love to read some more of your stuff. 🙂

  10. May 31, 2014 10:46 am

    Kirsten, your blog posts (such as this one) are much closer to fiction than you give yourself credit for!!! And yes, I totally let myself get distracted and think about or write about writing more than actually doing the writing. Especially in my journals where I can go on for pages about how I love the feel of a pen in my hand, the way the ink flows onto the page, the faint sound of the pen tip scratching on paper … oh boy, there I go … see? Great post!!

    • May 31, 2014 3:09 pm

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one that does this! If only I could nudge myself into fiction from this kind of meta-fiction place.
      Then again, it sure is fun to just write about writing once in a while. 🙂


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