Coaxing the Muse: A Day in the Life of a Novel

Once upon a time, I worked as a divorce litigator. I spent
my days in a courtroom, witness to people who once swore undying love battle
each other over money and children. I chugged Mylanta straight from the bottle
while I drove to the battle arena, fantasizing about spending my days writing
instead.

Ah, blissful days writing. I pictured myself grabbing a cup
of coffee or tea, sitting down to the computer, and spinning out page-turning
stories with ease. It would be blissful. Just me, my thoughts, and the pliant
keys under my nimble fingers.

While any writing day is better than a day as a
litigation warrior in the divorce court, my writing days are far from what I
dreamt they would be. It turns out that being alone with yourself all day –
well, you’re alone – with yourself! And it also turns out that that sly minx of
a muse doesn’t just appear on command like a pimp’s bitch, eager to obey and
please. At least not my muse. No, mine is more like an irritable, temperamental
child that I have to coax and bribe.

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Here,
then, is a peek into my writing day:
8:30
a.m.:  Each writing day starts with the
blank page (to some extent or another). Ah, the promise of the page. Anything
can happen. Everything can happen.
The empty, white screen that contains the potential for genius.

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9:00 a.m.:  The blank
page still there. Better check Twitter and see what’s going on in my Facebook
world. Hey, that’s a great article on writing. This is just the thing I need to
get me going today. Wonder what’s new on Wattpad?
10:30 a.m.:  Laptop
ready. Tunes going. Waiting for inspiration.



I
know what I need – coffee. A strong cup of jo will get that blasted muse to
work!


11:00
a.m.: You know what goes great with a cup of coffee? How about some of this –


12:00 p.m.:  All that
net surfing, coffee slurping and chocolate nibbling sure did work up a hunger.
Better go grab some lunch. That’s what I need – food. That’s sure to spark an
idea.
1:00 p.m.: Wow, lunch sure was exhausting. I need a nap.
Maybe I’ll dream the next plot step. Okay characters, tell me what’s next for
you while I sleep.


2:00 p.m.: Yawn! Great nap. Back to work. Okay, muse. I’m
listening. Really. Come on. I’m waiting. Where’s that *#%@ muse?!


3:00 p.m.: Crap – it’s time to pick up my offspring. I
didn’t get much writing done today. (Looks at blank computer screen.) Okay, I didn’t
get any writing done today. I’ll get some words banged out later.
8:30 p.m.: Best time of the day – dinner and T.V. and
laughing with the fam. Got the kiddo tucked in. Hubby’s watching football (or
insert game with a ball that’s in season). Dog is napping. It’s dark outside,
quiet inside. Maybe I’ll try this –

11:00
p.m.: Apparently that’s what my cranky muse needed. Quiet. Relaxation. Who
knew? I got two chapters written. I’m not sure I’ll stick with where the plot’s
going, and I need to add more details about the setting – oh, and some inner
dialogue. But words were written. That page is no longer blank. If I do this
about fifty more times, I’ll have the first draft of a novel written 😉

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4 thoughts on “Coaxing the Muse: A Day in the Life of a Novel”

  1. I agree D.T. I'm about 2/3 done with my current novel and I've done it all that way so far – by hand first, then typing into the computer. Something about the hand writing across the page seems to free up the word flow and imagination.
    Thanks for reading 🙂

    Like

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