The Muses and Me

Some days, I require a word count because the muses are behaving like children. The words won’t come. A thousand pounds of pressure is required to press the computer keys. It is exhausting. Computer games call, sunshine beckons, books that I want to read whisper, “Come here,” and to-do lists acquire enormous importance. The word count is necessary to get some frigging work done. That’s in the writing process stage.

In the editing and revising stage, the muses are generally mute. Their work, they tell me, is done. Chapters are the masters. X number of chapters must be completed today. Sometimes the muses show up and start talking about another project. Other projects, with the glorious feeling of creation that they impart, are always seductive. I beat the muses back with sticks. “Not today, damn it. You know that I need to finish this first.” They don’t care. Muses are self-centered. They run with their own agendas.

There’s always a stick for the days when it’s needed. But some days, the muses are waiting, tapping their little feet or fingers, eager to begin. Just give them a sip of coffee, and off we go. I don’t always know if I’m going in the right direction and harbor this terrible fantasy that I’m a football player in a tight game, running with the ball toward the wrong goal.

A table full of muses are here today. Each is learning forward, ready to feed me their input. Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

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