Monday, January 20, 2014

Controlling the Muse

How often have you had to tell your Muse to just shut up?  I mean it?  How many times?  Usually any writer, musician, or artist will gladly listen to their Muse and follow the flowery path to complete their project.

But what if you have umpteen dozen projects in different stages of completion?

I am currently trying to publish a minimum of four books this year.  Well, actually, if I could get really lucky, a total of six.  Let me explain.  Four of mine as self-published, another one via an agent and the sixth one as a cooperative effort with my co-author finishing up book 2 in our series.

Lofty aspirations?  Maybe.

I made it a resolution - sort of.  At least, let's call it a goal for the year of 2014.  My first project was to complete book 1 by the end of January.  It is currently done, edited and being beta-read before I self-publish it.  When I get back the comments, I will make the changes and if all goes well, publish before the end of the month - thus completing 25% of my goal for 2014.

With Goal One done, I am now working on the next goal, book 2 which I hadn't planned to start until the month of February.  Okay, the snow has been coming down, there is more expected tonight, and the wind is blowing causing drifts.  More than likely, tomorrow will be a day to stay inside.  Locked inside? Obviously, time to write!  Waste not, want not.

But what of controlling the Muse you ask?

To complete my goal I must focus.  To focus means I can't have my Muse throwing all these great ideas into my mind, cluttering my thoughts and causing me to stumble.

Yes, in only three mere weeks I have been assaulted with new ideas.  I even caved under the pressure and started to write a new book.  WHAT?!  If I start to work on a new book, that means I'm not working on the assigned project.  If I'm not working on the assigned project, that means I'm not going to make my goal.


So, that project, the new book, was quietly put away, to rest in the cyber-vault until the time came when I could work on it properly.  I have a couple of new files in my cyber-folder titled "Future Plots" which are basic outlines of concepts and ideas that have come charging in from my Muse. To attempt to remember all the great ideas my Muse has given me, I've learned, I can't remember, so I write them down and save them.

I don't really want to say "Shut up!" for fear of offending my Muse but I can tell, my Muse is watching and waiting.  Only time will tell who will win.

Do I really think I'm controlling my Muse?  Of course not, but it is a warm fuzzy to think so.  Already in the back of my mind, I can feel the percolating of an idea.  As it progresses and develops, I will finally put it to cyber-paper and store it for future use.

After all, I'm not a total idiot.  When the Muse is talking, I will listen.

Until next I ramble on...


  1. My muse is controlling me right now. I'm doing nothing. She's sitting there all quiet and obnoxious in the corner of my room just laughing at me because I'm 75% into a book and can't "yet" figure out how to tie everything together that I threw into this novel. So, I just sit back and let her have her time, gain a lot of weight and hopefully she'll figure something out... just sooner versus later.

  2. @elysesalpeter - Who is gaining the weight? Ms Muse or you? Sometimes it necessary to just sit back and wait. Other times it might be your Muse's way of letting you know that something just isn't right and you have to figure that out. I've discovered that Muses are a pouty and moody bunch. LOL.

  3. I need to learn to control mine as well! Great post! Thank you!