In the last few weeks I’ve gotten up at 3am to write. Why because suddenly my muse was talking to me. I saw a chapter, a post, a short-story – complete in total being read to me as if I’d downloaded it off Audible. I could see it all in front of me. My reader’s ear could hear it being spoken. Heck if it was a post I even saw what scans/photos I wanted in it and the format.
It’s not that I didn’t try to do this during the day. My life is now such that I can work during the day from 9-5 at home on my computer writing. I have a wonderfully supportive husband. My son is now old enough to take care of himself. I don’t have a job outside the home. I am free to write that novel, develop that website, and do those things. I am ever grateful to be blessed with such opportunity. It suits my health and I’m following my dreams.
Except, there are times I’m stuck. Not full blown writer’s block, but stuck on where does this go next or how does this get from here to there or just what do I want to say in this post? There are times I just slog through putting one uninspired word after another down. The fingers don’t fly on the keyboard. There is no voice in my head, no movie image of the scene before my mind’s eye. I just struggle and chug along thinking every word weighs a ton and looks as dull a granite.
Then Mike gets home from work, Aaron rolls in and I’m off being wife and mother. I go to bed and BOOM! 3am my Muse comes rolling in for work. If I don’t get up and capture that it’s gone. I know this because I’ve rolled over and gone back to sleep ignoring the call. The next morning I sat wondering, wondering what the heck was it?!? I slog again while my Muse is snoozing in his comfortable Muse bed. (yes my Muse is a handsome male) Just where that is I’m not sure. Elizabeth Gilbert suggests maybe it’s in the walls.
I don’t know where he goes but it’s not in my office during office hours. Well, most of the time. I once read a writer’s quote that suggested you should show up to write in the same place every day at the same time so the muse will know where to find you. Apparently my Muse just looks in my bed at 3am to find me. Maybe I sleep around (not in that way) so he’ll not be able to find me except when I’m at my desk during work hours.
I tried the notepad by the bed trick. You know, jot down enough of the late night Muse’s suggestions so you can write in the morning. It’s hard to read what you wrote in the dark was my first problem. My second one was deciphering what the heck they meant. It’d be something cryptic like ‘John as now a girl flies on a winged fish to get Tabasco.’ I’d have this jotted down and underline odd words such as now and on. No the notepad didn’t work for me.
This is why I now roll out of bed at 3am when the Muse shows up to work. I come into my office, fire up the computer and start taking dictation. If you’ve never had it what I say about being under the influence of the Muse is going to sound insane. If you’ve had it – if you’ve been there in the creative zone – you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It flows through me mot from me. The keys click away as I type quickly, maxing out at my 72 wpm. I see the scene or the layout before my mind’s eye. At times when I’m writing I’m lost there in the scene just relying on my fingers to capture the Muse’s whispered dictation. The words glimmer like gems as they fly by. The action surges through my blood, the character’s voices or the narrator’s voice rings in my ears while silence fills the room. I’m possessed by what I was courting all day. It is here. HE is here, my Muse. I get up because this is like lightning you capture it when it happens. It doesn’t come in a bottle.
Then about 5am or 6am we’re spent. Thousands of words are on the page. My body aches from fatigue and interrupted sleep. I drag off to bed and sleep, sleep the sleep of the dead. Later when I edit what we wrote in those few hours of glory – it’s good. It’s real good. Sure there are typos and things to polish but it doesn’t require revision after revision like the slogged out stuff does.
I love that feeling! It is glorious. It is why I want to be a professional writer. Only the timing doesn’t fit with the rest of my life. It doesn’t support my health. It doesn’t make family or couple things easy to do in the normal times. I just can’t be on the night shift and day shift too. So that’s why I’m seeking a Muse that works 9-5, Monday – Friday no holidays. Sadly I don’t think they exist. I don’t think riding the creative beast can be scheduled.
Still Muse if you are reading this – I’m here at my desk M-F, 9-5 excluding holidays. Please feel free to stop by in lieu of a 3am session. I’d be much grateful.