IWSG: Real Life Problems

January 3, 2018

For this month’s episode of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, I… actually, I’ve been going through some things. I’m not quite prepared to talk about it yet. So instead, I’m going to turn the floor over to my muse. She has something to say, and perhaps it’s something your muse would like to hear.

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My fellow muses, I think we all know how our writers can be. They live out there… out there in the real world, and sometimes they get caught up in their real life problems. They have chores to do. And jobs. They have to eat sometimes, and they get sleepy and pass out every night.

It’s hard for us, as ethereal beings living in the eternity of imaginary space, to tell when our writers really do need to deal with this “real life” stuff and when they’re just making excuses to skip writing. Personally, I’m really suspicious of this “job” thing. It takes up a lot of my writer’s time, and all he gets for it is something called “money.”

But recently, I had the opportunity to turn the tables on all those distractions out there in the real world. And I took that opportunity.

Now, rather than using his real life problems as an excuse to skip writing, my writer is using writing as an excuse to not deal with his real life problems! Everybody wins!

Okay, maybe I’m not too proud of myself for this one. But sometimes we muses need to be sneaky. We need to be manipulative. We need to do whatever it takes to coerce our writers into writing. And whatever else is going on in my writer’s life right now, at least he’s getting his writing done. As a muse, that’s really all I’m supposed to care about. Right?

IWSG: Born to Write

February 1, 2017

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

I’m still sort of busy with all my top secret stuff, so I’m going to let my muse write today’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group post for me. She has something she’d like to say, and maybe it’s something your muse would like to hear.

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I was at the top of my class in muse training school. I knew everything about the secret magic of inspiration. I thought I was so ready. Then I was assigned to my writer, and he was a bit younger than I’d been expecting.


Turned out I’d have to wait… and wait… and wait, until my writer finally grew up. I also had to wait while my writer went through some bad experiences, and made some poor life choices, before he finally realized what writer’s are supposed to do with their lives (hint: it involves writing!).

At the moment, my writer is going through something of a transition. He’s taking some risks and trying some new stuff, and not everything is going according to plan. He’s starting to worry. He’s getting cold feet. He’s starting to worry that maybe he wasn’t meant to be a writer at all.

Of course he doesn’t remember how he became a writer. He doesn’t remember when it really began. He was too young at the time. Which brings me to the little piece of advice that I want to share with all the other muses who might be reading this: writers sometimes need to be reminded that they were born to write.

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Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop where insecure writers like myself can share our worries and offer advice and encouragement. Click here to find out more about IWSG and see a list of participating blogs.

IWSG: A Muse’s Apprentice

September 7, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

We all know writers feel insecure sometimes. That’s what the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is all about. What we writers might not realize, or may sometimes forget, is that our muses get insecure too.

With that in mind, I’m going to turn the floor over to my muse. She has something to say, and maybe it’s something you or your muse would like to hear.

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We all know the rule: one muse per writer. There just aren’t enough of us fairy-folk around to start doubling up. But I wish I could have a helper or an assistant or something. I wish I had an apprentice muse working under me. Then I could really get stuff done.

Sp07 Two Muses

The truth is I can’t do everything myself. I can put as many ideas into my writer’s head as I want, but that doesn’t mean he’ll write them down. You know how humans are. They’re easily distracted. Their minds wander. They keep complaining about being “too tired.”

It would be nice if I could get some help. Unfortunately, King Oberon and Queen Titania have rejected my requests to start a muse internship program. That leaves me only one option: I’ll have to convince my writer to pull his own weight. Well, that plus the weight of a pen, I guess.

That way, when I give my writer ideas, he’ll be able to move his own hand over to the paper, without any magical help at all.

IWSG: You Are a Good Writer

August 3, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Click here to find out more about the group and to see a full list of participating blogs.

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In the past, I’ve written a lot of IWSG posts about my muse. Mostly, I’ve written about how much we fight. We quarrel over what to write, how to write, when to write (sorry, muse, but 2 a.m. is not the appropriate time).

But today, I just want to take a moment and say something to my muse. Something I don’t say often enough.

Ag03 Muse Chat 1

Of course these muse posts are hyper metaphorical. They represent the inner triumphs and turmoils of the creative life. I don’t actually believe a magic fairy whispers ideas in my ear.

Ag03 Muse Chat 2

Metaphorical or not, the relationship between a writer and muse can become strained. Writing is hard. Tensions run high. It’s upsetting when words just don’t fit together the way they’re supposed to.

You might start to think you suck as a writer. Your writing sucks. You life sucks. You blame your muse for withholding inspiration; your muse blames you for lacking persistence. And then things get nasty.

That’s why it’s so important to stop and affirm to yourself, as often as you can, in whatever metaphorical or non-metaphorical terms you prefer, that you are good at what you do, and that you’re getting better. Go ahead. Do it now.

It might seem silly at first, but the power of positive thinking is real. It won’t solve every problem, but it is the best defense against the chronic negativity that afflicts so many of us as writers.

IWSG: Do You Believe in Muses?

February 3, 2016

Some people may think this is silly. Normal people (or “norms” as we often call them) don’t get it. Even other writers don’t always understand. Not everyone believes in muses.

But for me, muses are very real. They’re magical beings. They’re annoying beings. They’re ungodly frustrating sometimes. For example, my muse does this to me…

Fb02 Muse Amnesia

… all the freaking time!

So do you believe in muses? Is your muse as difficult to work with as mine?

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Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a bloghop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosted this month by Allison Gammons, Tamara Narayan, Eva E. Solar, Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend. Click here to find out more about this amazing group and see a full list of participating blogs.


IWSG: A Christmas Muse

December 2, 2015


For these Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts, I usually talk about my muse. Sometimes, I turn the floor over to my muse and allow her to talk about me, her insecure writer.

Anyway, it’s December, so my muse and I are starting to think about what we want for Christmas. Here are some of the things I hope my muse will give me:

  • New story ideas.
  • New settings to explore.
  • New characters to learn about.
  • New plot devices to exploit.
  • New ways to slip sciency stuff into my stories.

Above all, I’m asking my muse to give me enough enthusiasm to keep me writing throughout the coming year.

As for what my muse wants for Christmas…

Dc01 Christmas Muse

Muses can be mean sometimes.

So what do you hope your muse will give you for Christmas (or whichever holiday you’re celebrating this year)?

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Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosted this month by Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell. To see a full list of participating blogs, or maybe to join the group yourself, click here.

IWSG: The Kind of House Where a Writer Might Live

October 7, 2015


Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Click here for more information about IWSG and to see a full list of participating blogs.

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I’ve written before about the difficult relationship I have with my muse. We never seem to be in sync. I want to write, and she’s not in the mood. She wants to write, but I’ve made plans with friends, or I have to leave for work, or it’s three o’clock in the morning and I’m trying to sleep.

This September created a lot of extra strain between me and my muse. You see, I moved out of my old apartment and into a nice, new house.

Oc03 Moving Day

What my muse doesn’t seem to appreciate yet is that this new house will be a much better environment for both of us. No more loud music from the apartment upstairs, no more noisy traffic outside the bedroom window at night, no more strange smells wafting in from across the hall.

There’s a lot more space and a lot more natural light. There’s even a reading room. A room just for reading! How cool is that?

The process of moving disrupted all of my creative endeavors, which infuriated my muse; however, things bounced back to normal a lot sooner than I expected. In the final week of September, after all the moving was finished, I wrote over 18,000 words, which is probably a personal best. I’m taking that as a good sign for things to come.

At the moment, I’m still sort of living out of boxes and I’m on the hunt for new furniture. Any suggestions for things I can do to make my new house an even more writing-friendly environment?