I've been working on a novel for quite a while now. I received an email about writing a 50,00 word novel in one month---- the month of November, no less--but it would have to be a new work. I did consider it, thought maybe this would be a good way to shake up my brain, get in touch with my intuition, banish my workaholic inner editor. But, but----it's not that I'm procrastinating, it's that I have devoted so much time, so much living with the characters that I am discovering--- shaping and writing the words, yes, but there is another process at work here. This process is something I have glimpsed, even grasped in my writing before. Then, like a dream, a shot of steam, a billboard on the side of the ride that we drive by too fast to read, it is gone. I don't want it to be gone. I want it to stay around, have a cup of tea with me, drop ideas and dialogue into my head and let me think that these flashes of brilliance are my own. You know when you are having a great conversation with intelligent people and the energy escalates and makes everyone just a bit smarter, as if the group IQ just shot up the scale? That boost in intelligence, sadly, often disappears when the conversation winds down, but it was there like an energy field or a host of angels or--- to borrow an ancient personification, a muse.
I want my muse to move in with me, infuse me with great ideas over morning coffee, hover about inconspicuously when I sit in front of my laptop and open my documents. I want her to whisper to me while I sleep so I awaken eager to get my fingers dancing over the keyboard.
But--- well, I suppose I have drawn an ornery sort of muse. A moody muse. A muse who gets mad at me when I await her dictation. My muse who wants me to work, to grapple, to dare, to jump into the messiness of life and come up with words that are buried just below the surface and sometimes buried deep-- deeper in the mine than I can comfortably go. But that's it. Writing is uncomfortable. Writing asks us to be brave and risk putting our selves, our souls, out there for the world to ignore or scorn or if we are so blessed, to read and see that we have hit some truth of human nature.
Still, after all this time, I want my muse to show up because words just flow smoother and truer when she sweeps in. So, muse, wherever you are, I'll put on the kettle and set out some snacks, so please stop by and whisper something wonderful.