Day Jobs

Balance and Listening for the Muse

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | The Writing Life | 4 Comments

 

Moon Over the Ridge

 

I know that a lot of you out there are writers, too, so you know what I’m talking about when I say that balance is an elusive thing. As much as I adore my work, listening for new heroes and heroines, writing the stories I’m given, and making them exciting and truthful for my readers takes a lot of focus. Between the joy of writing and the day job, often little time is left for silence, and even though silence is where the stories come from in the first place.

Of course, I’ve been known to get a visit from the Muse even at the day job. I’ve learned to keep a notebook in my purse, with pen attached, just in case a bit of story comes to me, or a character reveals a plot point that, until that moment, had been a mystery to me.

Sometimes the Muse will show up when I’m in the shower, or washing dishes. I try to keep a pad and pen near the sink and the bathtub, though obviously this makes for problems of its own…waterlogged notepads and running ink. But still, if I make the effort to get the new idea down, the Muse will usually repeat herself later, even if I drop the newly minted idea in the tub.

Often, I’ll get an idea while driving to work. I have a forty-five minute commute, which as I drive through the beauty of the NC mountains, is soothing and relaxing. Being soothed can lead to an open mind, which can lead to completely new story ideas. Always a blessing.

Of course, no matter how many new and shiny ideas show up for the future, I have to finish the novel I am working on now. So there is another point of balance: Keeping the new ideas recorded and almost ready to go while finishing and polishing up the ones that I have already committed to. This point of balance is no burden, but I do try my best to keep the lines of communication open with the Muse of New Ideas, even as I work with the Muse of Fleshed Out Novels. These Muses are really one and the same, so she is gentle with me. Please keep those stories coming…

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