Muse Issues

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My muse is upset with me. So what else is new?

Actually, this time I’m innocent. Truly. Many times, I’m not—a lot of stuff tends to be my fault, or my attitude, or the fact that I wasn’t paying attention to you when you were telling me.

That’s also not my fault. I’m easily distracted and the world is full of stimuli. It’s why I digress so often. And why I respond to the people sitting several tables away from me when I’m eating out, even though they aren’t actually talking to me.

But I can hear them, so, fair game. The part of my writer brain that does research and wonders “what if,” sucks up stimuli like a powerful vacuum inhales cobwebs and dust bunnies.

In other words, if it happens near me, whatever IT happens to be, it gets filtered through my brain. Some parts I keep and file away. Other parts, I jettison and forget immediately—like all the studying you did before the test after said test is over.

Give me a sec to close this particular digression and turn the focus back to my disgruntled muse.

YA Author Tom Hoover on His Recent Muse IssuesHere’s the thing. Through no fault of anyone’s, the past three months have been mostly peer reader reviews and revisions—a cake walk for her. She just lies on the sofa, drinks my wine, teases the dogs, and says unhelpful things like, “Do you really want to cut that? I’m kidding, do whatever you want.”

Because of course, the ton of self-doubt that is every writer’s birthright isn’t near enough weight for me to bear.

Then, BOOM, it’s autumn and the new book is ramping up. Plus, vacations and other stuff demand that I backfill the blog reservoir. So, I look to her for the muse thing. Y’know, ideas and inspiration. Flashes of epiphany. Telling insight. The usual.

Muse 101.

But nooooo. You’d think I condemned her to the salt mines. I have never heard such whining—here’s a typical conversation:

Me: Hey. Can you give me a hand here? I gotta write next week’s blog this week, and I could use some fresh ideas.

Muse: Seriously? Didn’t you just write a blog?

Me: Yes. Yes I did. Without any help from you, I might add. And now I have to write another one—we talked about this.

Muse: Fine. What was the last one about?

Me: Things you should never say to writers.

Muse: Okay … Do a part two.

Me: That’s pretty uninspired for “lady inspiration.” What else you got?

Muse: How about, “Things you should never say to muses.”

Me: Like what? Do your job.

Muse: Who died and made you a writer?

Me: What does that even mean? Whatever. I’ll do it myself.

Muse: Fine by me. Oh … and you’re out of pinot.

Alright. Blog’s over.

I apparently have to go to the store now.

Wanna buy a muse? Cheap?

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