How to Murder Your Creative Muse In 5 Easy Steps

1.  Don’t spend time with her.  If you have plans to get together, procrastinate until she gives up for the night.  Spend your time on social media or YouTube instead!  Best way to send her running, right there.

2. Fixate on doing it the right way every time, with everything.  Correct the muse at every turn and nitpick over every idea she produces.

3.  Don’t take her advice without consulting your broad base of advisors, beta readers, friends, family, distant relations, and mammoth critique groups. Every decision must pass a vote by a broad majority!!

4.  Expect her to work nonstop with no breaks.  Work’s good for her!  Run her ragged and get mad if she doesn’t show up precisely when you want her.

5.  Compare her with the other writers’ muses and their famous or bestselling novels.  “Why aren’t you more like J.K. Rowling’s muse or Stephen King’s?  Why do you have dumb ideas I can’t make tons of money on or generate hordes of fans???”

Muse-Killer!

Are you as guilty of muse murder as I am?  Never fear.  The muse is frail and easily killed, but with some TLC you can bring her back to life!

I’m currently doing a muse revival myself.  Here are my principles for bringing my muse back to life:

  1. Thanks to good advice from my critique partner, I’m giving her free reign over the story and trusting my storyteller gut.
  2. If she needs a breather, I let her have it.  Sometimes it’s good to focus on something else for awhile.
  3. I try not to worry about doing it 100% right the first, second, fourth, or even tenth time.  There will always be edits.  It’s okay to mess up a little.  The muse loves to experiment…don’t be afraid of a little mess!
  4. I attempt to meet regularly for writing rendezvous, and use Microsoft Word’s “Focus” mode to block out my Google Chrome icon from view so I won’t be lured away by the Siren of Social Networking.
  5. I remind myself that my voice, writing, and story are my own.  Comparing them with others’ works will only sap me of my own joy.  I have to focus on how to do my job well and to God’s glory.
  6. I pray for her – or more accurately, I just pray for my writing.  We joke about the “muse” as a fun scapegoat for writing woes or a humorous imaginary brainstorming partner, but really our inspiration comes from God, the Author of History and Creator of all things.  If you’re in a rut, ask for His help.  He cares about your stories as much as you do, because He created you and gave you those stories to write!

Treat your muse nicely, peeps!  Don’t be muse-killers. 😉

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1 Comment

  1. Love your tips!

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