Thursday, March 3, 2011
Guest Blog: Sarah Ballance: Your Muse is Better Than My Muse
I'm pretty sure I like your muse better than my own. I read your blogs and your message board posts and I see these great relationships come to light. You meet before dawn with coffee, all fired up to greet the pink sunrise. You enjoy a few stolen moments at lunch, then moonlight after dinner to the soundtrack of furiously clacking keys. I can practically hear the love songs in the background serenading your affair.
When I actually have time to write, my muse sits in the corner like a surly teenager. I can beg him to talk to me all I want, but all I get is that little "yeah, right" kind of head tip – with or without a pseudo-charming smile – and stubborn silence. Sometimes … *sigh* … I catch him texting while I'm talking to him. Needless to say, when he's in one of *those* moods my writing time passes without much progress.
Oh, but he's not a total dud.
The other 22 hours a day – the ones I can't write – he's extraordinary. Whether I'm washing dishes or folding laundry (okay, I don't fold laundry … but I do haul it out of the dryer), driving, paying bills – you name it, and my muse is taunting me with excellent stuff. I spend 90% of my waking hours dying to get to my computer so I can write, and I cope by emailing myself hints of my inspiration, texting my own cell phone, and leaving notes all over the place. And when I finally get a moment to put those utterly brilliant words on the page … GAH! Yep, you guessed it. As soon as I can give my muse my full attention, he's back to glaring at me from the corner like a cat someone shoved out of the sunny spot on a window seat.
Out of sync is an understatement.
I will say there's an upside to such a contentious relationship. When my words finally do hit the screen, it's a celebration like no other. And when I actually finish out a chapter? YEOWZA! Talk about a huge reward for a hard day's (uh, week … okay, MONTH – who asked you, anyway?) work. But really, does it always have to be *so* hard?
Anyway, I just hope the rest of you realize how lucky you are. Your gallant cohorts feed you chocolate-covered strawberries while mine shoots rubber bands at me – the little ones that really sting, no less. Yours whisper sweet nothings while mine yells "whaddya want?" when I tell him it's time to get to work. Your muses are excited about the time they get with you. Mine is excited by the time he gets to taunt me.
You guys are living the ethereal honeymoon. We are SO not.
And now that I've explained myself, perhaps you'll be a little more understanding when you see me sitting in the corner furiously texting myself, trying not to lose that last glimmer of an idea destined to make my next novel great. I'll probably be glaring at you as you share that candlelight romance and wine with your own muse, but that's okay.
Perhaps my muse and I are more alike than I thought.
Sarah wrote her first novel in 2008 because she told someone she couldn't. It was accepted by the first publisher she queried, and the rest, as they say, is history. While the thought of writing fiction initially intimidated her, it has morphed into a favorite pastime since her characters, unlike her kids, actually listen to her … most of the time. To see her books (and you'll want to look plenty at the cover of RUN TO YOU), visit her website at http://sarahballance.com
Posted by Marianne Stephens at 12:01 AM