Where do you find your author’s muse?
Roman Payne, author of Rooftop Soliloquy, wrote: ““Fuelled by my inspiration, I ran across the room to steal the cup of coffee the bookshelf had taken prisoner. Lapping the black watery brew like a hyena, I tossed the empty cup aside. I then returned to the chair to continue my divine act of creation. Hot blood swished in my head as my mighty pen stole across the page.” Every author knows the feeling. Once inspired, projecting what’s alive inside your head onto paper or screen is both an exhilarating and exhausting experience—a buzz we live for. But where do you find your author’s muse?
Discussing the need for balance an author strives for, Julie Checkoway found her author’s muse from an alluring example: lingerie advertising. She wrote: “All writers struggle at some point with the problem of balance between authority and involvement, seduction and revelation. Specifically, beginning writers wonder how much description to employ, and more advanced writers ask how much plot is too much or too little. And there is no better place to find answers than in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue—or in any ad for lingerie—where the arts of seduction and revelation are so successfully practiced.
“After all, the secret of the effective lingerie ad is the secret of effective storytelling—to provide, moment by moment, the illusion of imminent expose, to give the viewer (read: reader) the uncanny sense that something fundamentally compelling is always just about to be revealed. Lingerie ads and storytelling balance the veiled and the unveiled, the seen and the unseen, the shown and the about-to-be-shown. In short, it is the art of the tease, the craft of selective ‘coverage,’ that, not just in lingerie but in storytelling, works to enthral.” Brilliant! Everyday items—anything, anywhere—can spark the author’s muse.
Finding your Author’s Muse
The one thing that seldom curbs writer’s block is staring at a blank page or screen. Regularly working at our craft, day in and day out; reading, learning, researching, studying is essential. As Ken Scott, author of Do The Birds Still Sing in Hell, wrote, “Want to be a writer? Take a good book a good pen and a notepad to bed with you every night of your life.” However, there’s also time to put down the notepad and flee the computer, and do something fun, novel, adventurous. Different. These random acts of escape, all the while maintaining an ear for the unexpected, often become the pretext for an uncanny, unsolicited moment of author’s muse.