musing about my muse
The writing life is an interesting one. I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, during which time my career has evolved from that of independent communications consultant, to freelance periodical writer, to author of books and blogger.
Of all of those, I must say I prefer blogging. When you are a blogger, you are the quintessential content provider. A conductor and curator of content … choosing the topic, the treatment of that topic, the visuals, and the tone with no influence other than your own inspiration. You of course keep your audience in mind, knowing what type of subject encourages and inspires them, but it is you who will ultimately decide what will show up on the screen.
That taste of blogging independence set the stage for me to become a self published author, as the scenario is very comparable to that of a blogger. As a self published author, I get to choose the cover for my book, the photos that are used inside, the tone, and the audience to whom I will direct my work. That all sounds very good, but it is the endurance that becomes a factor when one is writing and publishing a book or any work of considerable length.
As I wrote in this post, perseverance is a key component in making it as a writer. We certainly had an amazing discussion that evolved from that post, so if you haven’t read it, please do.
And as I reflected in this post when I was writing my last book, I have a pretty short attention span on occasion, and so I had to adapt a way to break down a large writing project into short digestible ones so that I could persevere, stick with it, and get it done. “Before You Say Yes” was much easier for me to write than “Chocolatour.” I basically had it done within a three-month period as I was writing from my experiences as a lifelong volunteer and most of what I was writing came from my inside my head.
With “Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate” I am having to travel the world in order to research the world of chocolate. I have divided the project geographically so that the 1st edition will focus on Europe and the UK, the 2nd edition on the Americas and the Caribbean, and the 3rd edition on the rest of the world. That way, I can publish the 1st edition and begin to market it while I am researching and writing the 2nd edition, and the same will happen with the 3rd edition.
But I am finding that the key to helping me get the book done is the graceful appearance of my muse. When she is with me, my confidence soars, my creativity shines, my determination strengthens, and the progress is significant. When she is gone, writing can become a chore, I become easily distracted, and my progress is an uphill battle. She was off somewhere else and I lost more than a month of writing time, but she is back and so is my drive. Long live the muse, and may she stay at my side forever more.
Do you have a muse that helps with your writing, to keep you on track and focused when you are working on large projects? Have you found a way to bribe her to make her stick around? Mine can have all the chocolate she wants, but I’m not sure if that’s enough. 🙂