Monday, October 3, 2011

The Taming of the Muse

 Perhaps this should be entitled negotiating with your muse.
I have difficulty convincing my muse that a blog is not a novel and that words written here do not count towards my daily total goal.
The problem is multifaceted. The major problem is my muse is a dog and he sits up and begs with that oh-please-please-please face. He is so cute it is difficult not to give in even while in the midst of inspired writing in a novel that is not just talking to me but screaming imperatives. I want to pat the poor thing on the head while reassuring him that there are not that many more words I want to write.
If I give into that urge, trouble ensues, for not only does the dog not belong to me, and hates to be patted on the head. But in the last few weeks he has morphed into a wolf with a hair trigger incisor. One other problem you may have surmised already, he doesn't exist (psst don't tell him that it makes him mad).
When he first arrived he was a very young min-pin with classic pincer markings clipped ears and tail with all the fierceness of a two-day-old kitten. But, he was very good with words, had a great lexicon, and excellent at keeping me on-point. He would spout out words as fast as I could type and get me to my daily total in less than two hours. I came to the conclusion that while I enjoyed the early relief, it would have a negative affect on my productivity.
Then one day he appeared as a shaggy dog. And I wrote much more prolifically, but I knew the long meandering scenes that ended up going now were was going to be trouble in the editing phase. Thank God he didn't stay long.
Next he had changed into a Chihuahua. I began finishing my goal within an hour but I was never sure if what I wrote made any sense it was like I was writing from the POV of a teenage girl talking with friends.
But, then came the double whammy. A new novel story line and a wild beast, lacking in household skills, if you know what I mean. His oratory skills surpassed that of all of the previous incarnations. But, I guess he had other writers to sniff and growl at, because when I hit my limit whether it was in tweets, or blogging, or emailing (yes, I still do that. I have relatives that are lacking in computer social skills) if I hit my goal and didn't stop. His simplest method of stopping me was to apply significant pressure on my left forearm so as to render it immobile and leaving me with the fear of writing one handed for the rest of my life. So, being the gentle soul that I am with great negotiating skills, I immediately recapitulated.
I convinced my lawyer to write a contract that would, if signed, allow for blogging words in addition to my normal writing goal. I don't have great hopes of getting a paw print on it as while his verbal skills are impeccable he is short on listening skills (I'm not even certain he can understand the spoken word) and I have serious doubts as to his reading ability. But I have to give it a try, because one not getting along with a muse is nearly as bad as having one abandon you.
One more thing. I'm sure many of you are thinking to yourselves that this man has schizophrenic tendencies. I'd like you to remember back to your college course on any history of literature and count the number of classic books that would never had been written if we had withheld the quill and ink from schizophrenics.