My Easily Distracted Muse

As a writer, you’d think constant visits from my muse with inspiration for stories would be a good thing, right?


So very, very wrong.

Right now, my one and only goal is to write the first draft of Cerulean Bound (Imminent Danger #3). It’s slow going, for several reasons. Firstly, I have a vague concept of what’s going to happen, but not too many details hammered out, so I’m constantly going back and changing what I’ve already written to accommodate the latest plot point I’ve decided to go with.

Secondly, I’m getting bogged down a little by the whole “this is the third book, people are expecting certain things, if you don’t live up to their expectations you’re going to disappoint them and lose all your fans” thing. I mean, by the time my mother gets done ripping the story apart and sewing it back together I’m sure it will be amazing, but self-doubt is still a wicked powerful demotivator.

And thirdly … my damn muse keeps getting distracted!

Whilst attempting to write a science fiction novel, I’ve decided to fill my non-writing time by watching The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and by reading the new Cassandra Clare novel The Iron Trial, which is influenced by Harry Potter. Seeing any connections between these films and novels? They’re all fantasy! And I’m trying to write a science fiction novel. Brilliant, Michelle. Just brilliant.

The end result, of course, is that my muse is cartwheeling around and coming up with all sorts of awesome fantasy stories, and I’m sitting here at my computer trying to shove all the wizards and dragons and elementals out of my head so I can focus on starships and aliens and space jelly. To quote Darth Vader, Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!

So, yeah. That’s what I’m dealing with right now. Anyone have any muse stories they want to share?


Unrelated media of the day:

I was so sad to hear of David Bowie’s passing. What an amazing man, and such a talented musician. Today’s unrelated media is one of my absolute favorite David Bowie performances of all time.

Categories: Writing | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “My Easily Distracted Muse

  1. Think your muse needs to change her watching/reading habits for a bit. I have this image of an author writing about aliens and his muse keeps putting dragon stickers on the page while screaming ‘cast fireball!’

    • Agreed! Seeing the new Star Wars put me in the right frame of mind, but then the holidays came around and my roommates have a tradition of watching Lord of the Rings during Christmas, so that happened, and I’ve been frantically scrambling to get back in the sci-fi mindset ever since. Thankfully I’m now done my LOTR re-watch, and almost done the fantasy book I’m reading, so hopefully that will lead to great success.

      • Can’t think of many sci-fi movies and shows to get back on that track. At least nothing that has distant space travel and aliens. Is it just me or have the most recent sci-fi things been time travel or scientists traveling to save Earth?

        • I mean, there’s always Star Trek. Can’t go wrong with Star Trek! But you’re right, there’s been a lot of time travel and Earth-based sci-fi recently. Hmmm … there was Jupiter Ascending last year, which wasn’t very good … Guardians of the Galaxy! But I can’t think of many beyond that …

          • The newest Star Trek movie is oddly focused on Earth a lot too. Don’t remember them going there so often in the originals or Next Generation. Guardians is a good one. Surprised I forgot about that.

          • Michelle, Great blog post. I hear you my muse is distracted right now too as my husband and I work to eat a healthier diet. It wants to put all my creative energy into making healthy snacks.

            Back to my point, here are a few scifi films that I use to get my muse back on track. Also they are a bit older so you probably can find them on Netflix, your library, or cheap, if not free.
            When Worlds Collide 1951 (Ignore the sexual politics of the 50’s and its a great story.)
            The Day the Earth Caught Fire 1961,
            The Thing 1983,
            Prince of Darkness (Note: horror scifi: Devil and multiple universe theory)
            The Alien films including Alien VS Predator (I didn’t say they were all great films!)

            • I ADORE Alien Vs Predator! Such a silly movie, but then, action movies can be silly and still be awesome. And hey, there are worse things to devote your creative energy to than coming up with tasty and healthy snacks. I wish I had a muse for healthy snacks. Maybe then I wouldn’t survive off of toast and fried chicken. (and other stuff! but those are sadly staples of my diet). I’ll definitely look up those movies — hopefully they can get my muse back on track 😀

  2. I’ve totally had Magic Dance stuck in my head ever since I heard the news. I forced the kiddos to watch it and their reaction was, why do you like this mom? It is David Bowie as THE goblin king! Why DON’T YOU like this? I have failed you as a parent.

    You could (and I hate myself for suggesting this) go the old George Martin route and write some other things while driving your fans (such as myself) into a tissy state until at least one of us is camped outside of your door 24 hours a day live tweeting your lack of progress. Or don’t. I am sure I am going to enjoy it, even if it is your version of the Godfather part III.

    • Hahahaha. Okay, first of all, clearly your kiddos weren’t in the right frame of mind when they were watching Labyrinth, because it’s AMAZING and when they re-watch it five years down the road they’re going to be blown away.

      Secondly, I have definitely considered that, but the problem is that the fantasy novel I’ve been cooking up ideas for is still wildly far from being ready to write. I’ve got the world sorted out, and an endgame for the series, but in terms of the actual plot for each book … nada. Nada, null, and zip. And I have learned from past writing projects that me just sitting down and writing in the hopes of finding the plot DOES NOT WORK. It leads to rambling and scrambling and massive re-writes. So now I’ve got this huge desire to write a fantasy novel that isn’t ready to be written, while my two books that are ready to be written I have no desire to write. GAH.

      Speaking of GRR Martin, I’m sure you heard the tragic news about The Winds of Winter? Goddamn, son, I know you want it to be perfect, but come on! When the TV show starts when you’ve already been writing the book for a few years, and now it’s threatening to outpace your story, you know you’re taking too long.

      • Oh yes I am aware. Painfully aware. After losing Robert Jordan before wheel of time was completed I get a little on edge about these sort of things.

        Gah indeed!

  3. Well at least your muse is giving you “some” ideas! Mine is just freezing up on me. It took me a month to write a 400-word synopsis, and I can’t get any work done on the manuscript itself. 😦 It’s really frustrating!

    • Oh man, I feel you on that one. This isn’t something I do myself, but I hear it works — instead of starting from the beginning and writing to the end, pick out scenes where you already know what’s going to happen (no inspiration involved!) and write those first. Then you’ve got words down on paper, which makes it easier to fill in the gaps and get the whole thing done 🙂 Like I said, I don’t really do that because by the time I’ve written my way up to a particular scene the story’s changed drastically and the scene doesn’t work anymore, but maybe it’ll work for you? 🙂

  4. Maybe your lead character in the third book could enter a worm hole that sends her back to the world of fantasy where dragons once lived.

    • Oooooooooooh. It’s a bold strategy. I have actually been thinking of sending her into a virtual world at some point which would have dragons, but sadly that doesn’t quite work with the vague tatters of a plot I’ve carefully constructed. Perhaps next book 😀

  5. Your muse popping up and interrupting your writing time is just plain rude! They should learn to keep quite when you’re busy!

  6. I feel you on the distracted muse! Good luck with your focus. 🙂

    Fantasy seeps into my stories, too. Somehow, I end up with shape shifters in my detective mystery, gods in my romance, and gremlins in my discussion of driving habits.

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