Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Guest Blogger Donna Cummings - Bribing the Muse

Oops, did I say bribing? I meant motivating. Although in the case of my muse, she would be offended if she thought I was trying to motivate her. She would love the thought of a bribe though.

Before I get too far, I should probably introduce you to my muse, so you have a better idea of what I'm working against. I mean, with. What I'm working with.

I call her Endora, and if you're familiar with the name, it's because you've watched the TV show Bewitched. She's the perfect blend of disdainful and annoying, and she has the dreadful ability to disappear when you need her and re-appear when you don't. I've written about her so many times, she thinks she's the heroine of my writing existence. I should probably correct that notion, only -- well, she is capable of magic.

And that's why I keep her around. She loves waiting until the last minute to show up with her toybox of great ideas. So while I'm gnawing on the last centimeter of fingernails I've got, wondering how I'm going to finish whatever project I'm on, she's off somewhere having fun, enjoying my pacing and fretting and anguish. When I finally give in to utter despair, she swoops in, sprinkling ideas into my brain, cackling at how I believed she had deserted me.

She hasn't failed me -- yet -- and even though I know she enjoys this game of chicken we play, I am determined to get the upper hand. So now I'm trying bribes, to see if I can lure her into the writing cave before she realizes what I've done.

Here are a few things that usually work:

1. Books. And more books. As cantankerous as Endora is when it comes to a writing routine, she does love books. And she loves when I've got my Nook stuffed with things to read. Even more than that, she loves when I promise her something new that she's been hinting that she needs. So we tend to have a lot of conversations that include the phrase, "I'll buy you that book as soon as you [insert impossible writing task here] by the end of today."

2. Favorite TV shows. Endora likes to rejuvenate herself by watching certain shows on Hulu, although if I left her in charge of the schedule, there wouldn't be any writing time included. She would plop herself on the couch, watch every episode of Scandal and Nashville, and then disappear in that infamous puff of smoke, leaving me to flail around, wondering how she got the best of me once again. So now *I* have custody of the Hulu password, and she has to demonstrate her writing prowess before I succumb to her entreaties.

3. Chocolate and coffee. I'm kidding. This is Vitamin C for both of us, something we need on a daily basis. So it's no use as a bribe.

4. Pinterest. Yes, Endora loves to look at pretty pictures. And the beauty of it is it inspires her without her even realizing it. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, so if she can check out a few pics, it gives her a chance to replenish the 1k she just spilled out. Sometimes it also stimulates a new story idea into being, which is an added bonus. Just so she doesn't catch on, though, we'll call it "research". Especially when it involves man candy.

So that's how I bribe/inspire/motivate my muse, at least for now. What are your favorite techniques for getting your Muse to cooperate?

Bio: I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

In addition to I Do. . .or Die, a romantic comedy recently released from Crimson Romance, my available books are Summer Lovin', a free romantic comedy novella, and Lord Midnight, a Regency romance. My contemporary novella, Back on Track, part of the Strangers on a Train collection, will released from Samhain on April 2, 2013.


Website/blog: www.AllAboutTheWriting.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@BookEmDonna

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Donna.Cummings.Author

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5349107.Donna_Cummings

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bookemdonna


Meg Benjamin said...

Oh Donna, what a hoot! Endora reminds me of Kirsty MacColl's song Celestine, which has a sort of similar vibe.

Anonymous said...

Meg, I adore that song!

I love how Celestine stalks her former fan who has moved on to a new idol. LOL Now I've got to find where I put that CD so I can listen to that song. Thanks for reminding me. :)


Kelly Jamieson said...

This is beautiful! I'm just picturing Endora sitting watching you work and smirking! Great advice on keeping the muse happy!

Anonymous said...

Kelly, how did you know Endora is a smirker? LOL She does that a lot. Too much actually!