Welcome Your Muse

Hesiod and the Muse

Hesiod and the Muse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For some reason, the Muse have visited frequently these couple of months.  She has knocked at the door of my mind and dreams.  What happens when your Muse shows up?  Do you ignore her/him or honor her request?  I chose to pay attention.  Let me give you and example of how she made her appearance and what I did at the moment.

Last week, I was at the parking lot of a local WAWA with my husband.  We got coffee and were ready to go on the road.  We were talking and observing the people going in and out, just casual conversation.  My husband said something, and that triggered a rainstorm of images in my mind.  It was a complete story, and I liked it.  I said to my husband, “Wait, let me write something down really quick.”  I took a small notebook and pen that I keep in the car and wrote about all the images as best I could.  He knew what I was doing so he kept quiet until I finished, enjoying his coffee.  In a few minutes, I was done writing, and we proceeded with our conversation.  Once I got home, in the afternoon, I took out my notes and I typed a more detailed version of the images.  The reason for this is that I need as much detail as possible, since that story will be filed until I am able to work on it, since I still have to finish writing book 2 and 3 of The Dinorah Chronicles.  This is an example of how the Muse visited quickly and how I listened to her.  I could have ignored the story, and kept doing what I was doing, hoping that I would remember all the details later, but with me it doesn’t happen that way; I would have forgotten.

That same week, I had a very fast dream. Once awaken, I remembered it, and realized it was the beginning of a story that I liked, a different story, and unrelated to anything that I was working on at the time or other ideas.  Immediately, I wrote it down, as I realized that the Muse had visited once more.  This is how I acknowledge the Muse.  I dream a lot; however, not every dream is necessary something that I would like to write.  Recognizing the Muse’s visit is a way of acknowledging her gift.

As writers, we may get ideas 24/7, and usually these come out of the sudden.  This is why it is important to have a small notepad/pen nearby.  I keep one in my bag, at my bedside, and in the car.  Just for when the Muse shows up.

How do you acknowledge your Muse?

How Music Influences your Writing

English: Part of the Mood Music Group

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever thought that what is playing while you are writing may influence your mood?  Despite your writing style and your taste in music, there is a correlation between your mood and the music you are listening to at the time you are writing.  It permeates the piece you are creating at a particular moment.  Of course, this does not happen all the time, as a rule, but you can use music as a tool for writing.

Many best-selling authors play a particular cd in the background to write a particular chapter of a book, or scene.  It inspires them to create the mood in the writing.  Next time you are writing a love poem, try some romantic music on the background.  You will see the shift in mood.  If you are writing a chapter where action takes place, play some rock or fast music.

Movie soundtracks are great too.  The shift in music allows you to play with different moods.  Sometimes, the best writing is done in silence, but for those moments when you need a jolt of sentiment, music does the trick.  If you are stuck in a particular chapter of a novel, try listening to music according to the scene – this will help for sure.

There are many ways you can create a mood for writing; music is just a tool that you can use to shake your muse.

Wrestling with Your Characters 2

Ernest Hemingway-studio in Key West

Image via Wikipedia

On September 30, I wrote Part 1 of this post.  I had to take a break from my novel because I was having an issue with one of the characters – somehow, I was avoiding her.  It was my issue – of that I was certain; however, I had to discover why.  I stopped writing and I got back to the beginning of the story and read every sentence, trying to find the answer to my avoidance.  A month has passed and today I was able to write two chapters.  I have made peace with my main character.

This may sound as unusual but I think it is very common for new writers to confront some personal issues when they are writing the story.  After all, when you write, you are putting part of you into those pages.  Even when you don’t realize it and your story might be fictional – there is always a part of the writer that will leak into the page.  So there is a deep connection between writer and story, writer and characters, because after all, the characters make the story – you cannot have a story without characters.  That connection will deepen as you get further into the story.

In my case, I was being confronted by the issue that I feel that I am nothing like my character – or am I?  In my eyes, I am not; however subconsciously, maybe I was secretly wishing to be a bit more like her.  That caused a road block and made me avoid an encounter with myself.  Sounds complicated?  It probably is.  It wasn’t until I understood this issue that I was able to keep writing the story.

My point to all this is that when you start writing, you never know where the story might take you – on paper, and in your mind, as well as in your emotions.  It is hard sometimes to separate the writer from the story, but at one point, they are separate worlds.  Well seasoned writers know that and many are very prolific in their craft.  I am just a beginner with a long road ahead of me.

Day 2 – Awesome WordPress Bloggers

LesCorsetsLeFuretParis18cutA

Image via Wikipedia

Today, I dedicate this post to C2C – Courage to Create by Ollin Morales.  This is one awesome blog that has many followers and in which you will find great information about writing, but also much inspiration to keep going.  A writer’s world is not an easy one, and C2C manages to give you the courage to continue in your writing journey.

I like this blog because it talks to the reader, it presents information and great tips, but also manages to make the topics personal and real.  It features writing topics, many writing guests, as well as great insight from the author.

C2C has a light, realistic, and encouraging tone and manages to keep real but informative throughout the author’s writing journey.  I think it is also innovative in the way it approaches many writing topics, pointing not only to the writing tasks, but also to the whole that is the writer’s life.  So there, you will find the information you need but also great insight and perspective.  Visit C2C and see for yourself.

The Creative Octopus

I am writing this post thinking about those people who are torn between many creative endeavors; simply put, they cannot commit to only one.  If you are like me, you probably cannot work only in painting, writing, or handmade crafts – your creative energy is so strong that you have to do it all, otherwise, you feel strapped down and incomplete.  This can be a challenge, specially because there are only so many hours during the day, and many times you have to deal with the frustration of not being able to dedicate more time to some creative projects.

You have heard the adage, “Jack of all trades, master of none” – well that is something we have to contend with and if we are going to dedicate our time and efforts to all our creative passions, we may have to focus a bit more on one to be able to move forward – there has to be a certain balance, otherwise you end up with tons of projects, lots of creative energy, but nothing done to full completion.

If you are making a living this way, it gets more challenging as you have to deal with all the documentation and paperwork that goes with it, to keep it IRS happy – these activities eat a lot of your creative time; however, they are necessary.  If you work outside the home as well, and have a family, this could get very stressful, and you may end up feeling tired, overworked, but mostly, with your creative hands tied up.  Again, balance is the magic word.  However, singles and couples without kids have it easier, no doubt about that.  There are many other activities and commitments that come with the fact of having a family.

How can you tend to work, family and your many creative passions?

The answer, not at once.  I have found that as long as I know that I can dedicate some time to pursue my passions, I am happy.  For example, I focus on my writing, and dedicate time to my other passions, whether it is one day a week or more than one.  For example, you can dedicate part of your Sunday afternoon to painting or an hour on Wednesday evening.  Maybe your Saturday mornings can become your crafting sessions … you have to find  what works for you.  If you have a family, they have to learn to respect your creative time as well.

If you are a creative octopus and decide to give up painting to dedicate your efforts to writing, for example, but your soul is hurting for some brushstrokes, then your writing will suffer as well, because you are tying up your creative Muse.  Finding a way to keep duty, love, and creativity coexisting together is not easy, but attainable.  For many families, what started as a one person creative endeavor, ended up as a whole family business.

Give your Muse enough time to play with all your passions, while focusing on one artistic venue.  Sometimes, creative octopuses become overwhelmed by their own creative energy, and abandon it all, as they think that they cannot do it all in one day.  That is the clue – not to do it all in one day, but instead, to dedicate one day to each one of your creative passions.

You can enjoy all your artistic passions, but one tentacle at a time.