24 September 2006

The muse

It occurs to me that I collect the fetishes of my creativity. I have fountain pens, notebooks, stationery, music, knitting needles, more yarn than I can justify (as if yarn needs justification!), many pounds of tea, poetry/art/biography/knitting/etc. books... I don't lack for the materials of inspiration. Alas: materials, left to themselves, tease and jibber.
I just finished a wonderful book, Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Papers. (I wrote about it at Tea Reads
a few days ago). Lydia is puzzled as she poses and watches her sister create art from her own image. How does she do that? How does she see that?

NaNoWriMo will be starting up in another month or so. Last year, I started a novel and wrote a few thousand words. Over the last few months, I've written more words. I know the story, the characters, the setting - I know them well. What I don't know is how to encourage and befriend my muse. Without her, it's just me, the paper, and ink. Any ideas?


Stephanie said...

You're just like me - collecting comfort things, keeping our inspiration all around.

I did Nano last year & I really found that I had to fight a bit for my time. My family is pretty supportive but I think they didn't really realize just how long it takes to write that many words - and I don't spend that much time just staring at the screen either! For me, the only way I can really get into the flow is to have a quiet space and a substantial block of TOTALLY interruption free time. I discovered that it took me at least 15 minutes to recover from any interruption. It's a real problem for me as a Mom - if I feel I have "jobs" that need to be done then I can't settle down to create until they are done. I'm not happy or comfortable taking time for myself unless everyone else is taken care of first. That's why I end up being such a sleep deprived night owl - it's my only real free time. :) Also - I find that - as a woman, even if you are surrounded by supportive people, it's amazing just how much other people think they own your time. You really have to carve out a way to stick to your guns and force people to respect your "you time".

Jennifer said...

Hmmm, befriending the muse. The only way I know how to do it, is to spend time with her everyday at the word processor. When I wrote, I used to write everyday for at least 15-20 minutes. I noticed it really did help to make writing a habit. Actually you can probably say this about anything.