Please welcome guest blogger Lori Toland
At least every day I see a tweet or a Facebook status like this:
“I found my muse and back to work on my latest WIP.”
Or… “My muse visited me last night and I wrote 1500 words on my latest WIP.”
But my favorite has to be… “I’ve found my muse and I’m chaining him to my desk. Take that, you little %$#@.”
I see these, I chuckle to myself. Muses get a bad rap. Writers blame
all their woes of missed deadlines and series being dumped because “my
muse has gone missing.” Well, I have some really bad news for you.
Muses don’t exist. Yeah, you heard me right. Or at least, not in the capacity everyone believes and I’ll tell you why.
had the chance to go to RT when it was in Orlando in 2009. Then in
2010, when RWA was rescheduled to Orlando, I just had to go because it
was in my backyard. I’ve gone to panels and lectures given by dozens of
authors, some even NY Times bestselling authors and they all say the
“There are no such things as muses.”
gasp I heard from the unpublished authors echoes throughout the room.
Then there’s a whisper amongst two people in the audience, “She has to
not wrong. She’s a multi-published author with almost twenty books to
her name. Don’t shoot down her advice. You should absolutely listen to
her. Instead of scoffing at her, someone asked her why and she
explained. It’s a reason I hear a lot from authors who are successful in
do not control your output. They are not typing away at your keyboard,
slaving over your story while you’re on your patio, having a martini or a
hot cocoa. You
are the person putting those words down on the paper. It takes a lot of
work to make a novel and the words don’t write themselves.
muses are our inspiration, the reason I get out of bed and rush to be
my computer because I had an idea about my next story. They are the
reason my husband asks, “Why are grinning and staring off into space?”
Nowadays he knows me too well.
we find it easy to dump our writing aside because we are too busy. Your
kids have soccer practice, your day job is smothering you with work,
your MIL is coming over and your house is a wreck. These are legitimate
excuses but be wary. They are just more reasons not to work on your
question came up: “I set aside my time every day to work on my novel
and for some reason, I can’t seem to write one more word. I’m stuck in
this scene and ready to tear my hair out. ARGH! HELP ME!”
is a legitimate problem. I sometimes work around this by moving around
in my story and writing different scenes but I’m just avoiding facing my
problem. One author at RT put it best when she said, “If you are stuck
at a scene in your book, your plot has jumped the tracks at some point.
Back your story up to the point where your story was working and then
applied what these authors told me to my own career. I’ve been
published for 2 years this February. I have 3 short stories, 2 novellas,
and 2 novels published. I have one novel under contract, due to release
early 2012 and countless novels and novellas in the hopper, ready to be
worked on. What I am saying is not believing in muses controlling me
has worked for my career.
So please, don’t chain your muse to your desk… that is, unless he wants to be. But that is a whole other blog post.
CEO by day, erotic romance writer by night, Lori Toland
lives in Orlando where the summers are hot but the romance between her
characters is even hotter. Writing since the tender age of 13, Lori
somehow finds time to play video games and watch movies while taking
care of her beloved cats and a husband who will forever be her hero.
Bennett has her priorities straight. Fighting demons is at the top of
the list until she meets her sexy neighbor, Luke Byrne. She shouldn't
want him, but she can't stop dreaming about his buff body and sexy grin.
world is turned upside down when Luke follows her one night and is
determined to stand beside her and fight. Ashlee knows she needs to keep
her distance from Luke, not just to protect her virginity but her heart
as well. But Luke may be the only one who can save her from the night,
and her dreams.