What is a writer?

Just this morning, a blogger friend asked an interesting question – are all bloggers writers just because they write [something]?

I side-stepped the heart of the question by talking about how my blogging had improved my writing generally, but I’m not really satisfied with that answer. It was a cop-out, so I thought I’d throw the question out to all the minions – what is a writer?

Clearly, a writer has to write, but does a writer have to publish? I’ve been writing fiction for almost thirteen years, but for eleven of those years I never let anyone see what I was writing, and I certainly didn’t publish anything. Was I a writer during that decade and a bit? I know I didn’t feel like a writer, and I didn’t call myself one either. Continue reading “What is a writer?”

Muse Wrangling 201 – AWOL

We have a great deal to cover today so I’m going to jump straight in. First and foremost, an AWOL Muse cannot be wrangled. Neither whips nor carrots will work. An AWOL Muse must be wooed.

But how do you woo a Muse?

There is no simple answer to that question because each Muse is different. Nonetheless, there is a way to prevent your Muse from leaving in the first place, but it involves knowing and listening to your Muse.

Does your Muse have a strong work ethic? Or is it flighty and easily distracted?

If your Muse is easily distracted then it may have gone AWOL because it was bored. Yes, I know, that is an awful thing to say to an author, but sometimes we have to face facts – Muses get bored just like readers. If your Muse is bored with what it is doing then perhaps that is an indication that readers might find the prose boring too. If this is the case then a rethink is the only thing that will lure your Muse back into the fold. Continue reading “Muse Wrangling 201 – AWOL”

Muse Wrangling 101

Good morning Minions. The Evil Mastermind asked me to speak to you today on a subject that is close to his heart – productivity prose.

Now I know the P-word can strike fear into the hearts of the bravest of you, but it is a subject that must be addressed. We are all writers. Writing is how we produce prose, and prose is how we earn our daily gruel.

But what happens when our Muse refuses to co-operate? What happens when that gender-neutral beast sits in its cage, sulking and refusing to come out?

We get no gruel, that’s what.

I can see by your faces that most of you know what it’s like to own a stubborn Muse, the kind that forces you to stare at a blank screen for hours on end, or goes on strike mid-way through a piece, leaving you to face a deadline on your own.

It is well documented that such Muses can play havoc with a writer’s life. But what, if anything, can we do about it? Continue reading “Muse Wrangling 101”