Friday, May 20, 2011

My Muse and Inspiration

I don't know about you, but I often find that I have a heard time sitting down to write.  I do everything I feel like I need to do in order to set up a good writing atmosphere.  I turn on music.  I turn off the TV.  I leave twitter running, which might be a bad thing, but I have to stay connected.  At least, that's what I tell myself.  Then I open up scrivener (my current word processor of choice)...and stare blankly at the screen.

Oh, I write.  At least a little bit.  I'll get some words down that I will glare at because they're not doing exactly as I want them to do.  Usually I get frustrated after about half an hour where I've written maybe a couple hundred words and I start playing a game to distract myself.  I tell myself it's to give myself time to think.  This is, of course, a lie.  I am doing anything and everything in my power to not be writing right at that minute.

Even time deadlines do nothing for me.  I've tried write or die.  I really have.  While it does pull more words out of me in a shorter time period, I can't quite force myself to continue writing afterward.  In fact, I think, I should do another session, and instead start watching a show or even reading, telling myself that I'm ahead and that thousand words I just wrote was good enough for the day.

There is something you should know about me.  Something I never knew about myself until November.  In fact, before November I actually believed the exact opposite of myself.  I thrive on competition.  And by thrive, I mean THRIVE.

In the same half hour that I would sit and get maybe 800 words staring blankly at my screen, by simply adding another person writing with me, I get 1800 words.  It's sad, but it's the truth.

Just so you know, I don't sit in front of my computer thinking 'I have to beat the rest of them!' actually, I really don't know what I think about while I'm #wordmongering.  It's as if my mind just clears and pours out the words that it refuses to give up without that competition.

Maybe it's my muse.  She is the most unreliable muse I've ever met.  Not that I've met a lot of muses.  This is just what I've heard.  She takes off at the most inopportune of times.  In fact for years she wasn't anything more than a voice in the back of my head that whispered maybe a couple days a year.  Now that I've found a way to keep her yelling, how can I stop?

#wordmongering has jumped my word count for my current novel to over 50k since May 1st.  Competition keeps me engaged with my characters.  Keeps me wanting to know more about the plot and how everything is going to turn out.  It makes me brainstorm so that I'm never without something to work on.  It makes me research.  Yep.  Research.  Rather ironic considering the fact that I decided to write a fantasy novel for the very specific reason that I can make up everything I'm writing.  And now I'm planning on spending Saturday in the library with a pile of books about 12th century weaponry and war strategies.

My point to all of this?  I found my inspiration.  The one thing that keeps us, as writers, moving forward.  As strange as competition for inspiration may sound, it works for me.  And it working is really all that matters.  As a writer, my sole objective is to keep writing.  Whether or not I ever get published has nothing to do with it.  As long as my muse thrives on competition (and my #wordmongering tweeps continue to provide that competition) I will write.  And that's all that really matters.

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