My Muse and I Have a Love/Hate Relationship

This morning, at 2 a.m., I snapped awake. The fan had brought a little too much of the cool night air in, and I was cold.

And awake…

And my ear itched…

And my bladder was full…

And the dog wiggled, scratched, and tried to nibble my fingers off.

I went to the bathroom and returned to bed, hoping I could fall back asleep.

Let me introduce you to my 2 a.m. muse…she’s a real bitch.

I have a week absolutely stuffed full of cleanings, classes to teach, and homeschool events. But I stopped short of wishing her away and settled for just wanting just a few more hours of sleep.

Yeah, right.

By 2:50, I gave up and got up. And as I poked around for a hair clip and pajamas, Emily appeared like a silent ghost from around the corner. Both of my feet left the ground and I gave a small startled yip.

“I had a bad dream, Mama.”

“Oh sweetie, it’s okay, you sleep in my spot, okay?” I picked her up, tucked her into my spot and headed for my office. When the muse insists, it’s best just to give in and get on with things.

I managed to start and finish the chapter “No Shotgun Required” and that puts me at 50,669 total word count.

16 chapters completed

6 to edit/finish

13 more to write in full

By 5 a.m. I was heading back to bed, exhausted, my 2 a.m. muse satisfied.

Today I pulled up the manuscript and felt a sense of…coming full circle. The next chapter to write/edit is “Morning” – the snippet where it all began so many years ago.

The emotions I feel just looking at it are too complex for words to properly express. When I began writing this story – this snippet I now call the “Morning” chapter, I had absolutely no idea where I was going with this story. I didn’t know if it even was a story.

I would write a little, hit a wall, and walk away. Sometimes for days, weeks, even months or years at a time.

I realize now, thanks to maturity and self-induced life changes, that it wasn’t as much a matter of not knowing what came next. Instead it was a matter of:

  • not giving a damn if I knew every answer
  • believing there was an answer to the next plot twist if I just sat there and didn’t give up
  • an agonizing path, cluttered with insecurities and foolishness, not believing in myself or that I had the creativity required

I won’t say that I’m a perfect medium for creativity or that my writing talent rivals that of Hemingway…neither would be accurate. But I know this. I can write. More importantly, I am driven to write. Accepting these realities has pushed me 90% along the path towards being an author.

So that 2 a.m. muse might be a bitch, but I couldn’t do it without her.