Well, maybe we're not like that guy in the second picture, but you get the point! When I imagine myself preparing to write, I see a quiet, serene place of comfort. My pillows are stacked behind me and I have my wine, chocolate, and laptop ready for a few hours of story telling. What others around me see is a woman begging an imaginary person called her muse to work with her just this once so that her characters finally come together in a steamy embrace. To the outsider, mostly my husband, I look like I'm going nuts. He's even asked me if he should fear this bonkers trait spreading to one of our three children. Anyone who knows my children will say it's in all of them. But that's neither here nor there.
He and many others don't get it. And how could they? In their minds, if you want the plot to move forward, you just write it to be so. But in the case of us authors, it's not so simple. The whole concept of making love in our world of fantasy is more complicated than a rubix cube! Yeah, rationally, it makes sense what onlookers are saying, but who has ever met a rational writer? Yeah, exactly. Our crazy characters always tend to act up when we need them to work with us most. And by the time they are ready to even remotely go ahead, meet up with each other, and do the nasty, it ends up not at all how we planned.
I remember, I was once speaking with another author friend of mine and she asked me how my sex scene was going. I screamed in frustration, explaining that the darn punks decided that they wanted to just kiss and cuddle. They weren't ready for the next level. Because she had been there, she understood exactly what I was saying. She also understood why we were talking at about one in the morning. Again, that's a stupid muse move that only we'd get. She told me calmly, that I needed to let my couple lead the way and all would work out just as I wanted. Possibly better. She was right of course and when it came time for her to bemoan to me about the trials and tribulations caused by her hero and heroine, I repeated her words of wisdom.
Now, I want to stop a moment and discuss this thing called "The Muse". I've mentioned mine many times over facebook and because I'm very sure he's a guy, my friends first believed I was talking about a real man. When I explained that it was just my drive, a voice that pushes me to write, they all grew quiet and maybe slightly concerned that I had split into another personality. Sometimes, to be honest, I think my muse may be his own man because when he takes over, I feel detached and the work that comes from him is pristine!
This is a picture that was circulating on some of my author friends' facebook pages and it still makes me chuckle everytime I see it. But honestly, this is my muse and I sometimes wish I didn't need him. Yet, as harsh as he is to me, I am grateful because I need the push. All authors do. Some of their muses are not so cruel and they want them to be, but when they do decide to make their presence known, you will see the writer up until the wee hours of the morning, typing frantically because if they stop, the "flow" that has been gifted to them will disintegrate.
What most outside of the author box call writer's block, we call "My muse hates me right now and has decided to give me the silent treatment." block. It's the worse thing in the world and comes when you are probably either close to being complete or trying to finish up by a deadline. In my opinion, a muse is like a baby. Wakes you up when you'd want to sleep most and make you work. Then sleeps at times you're actually up and ready to do something about it.
So, are we really crazy or are we geniuses in disguise? Who knows, it really depends on who's looking, I guess. what I do know is while I'll complain how tired I am because I was up until 3am, I'm actually proud of the work that came from my all nighter. And while I'm waving my fist at two made up characters because they aren't in the same room to get it on and I can't figure out why they won't listen to me, I'll also realize that they will eventually and the end result will have been worth the wait.
It's okay to be eccentric, I say. So all you authors, artists, photogs, and right-minded individuals, tell your muses thank you. Raise your fists to the sky and shout with pride that you finally got to bed at a decent time of midnight! And for those who look at you, while you exclaim how much you've fallen in love with the hero you've created, tell them,
"I am not psychotic. I am an AUTHOR!!"