On connecting with your writing muse.

For six days a week I sit at the computer editing the wonderful stories of otherminds. On the seventh day I write for me. A whole day dedicated to the WIP and my own crazy mind.

To maximise production (and prevent writer’s block) I do as much prepping via thought as I can, either whilst emptying the dog, or when falling into dreamland. Storylines meander, scenes form, theme-related ideas pounce from every corner, and I jot them down and email them to myself so that when my day of writing arrives I’m ready to rock n roll with a week’s worth of ideas.

Yesterday, I took the Olster to a place we hadn’t been to since last August, when temperatures were often hitting 90. But now, mud, thick mud, floods, puddles streaking everywhere that gravity pulled them. And it was cold, foggy and deserted. But the Olster needs his runs so the partially flooded car park with raised islands of green seemed to be the best option. No cars. No other signs of life bar two squirrels, a magpie and rather large rabbit.

So, there was I, wanging the ball for the Olster again and again, in the miserable wet and cold, pondering the string possibilities for a paedophile priest, when it happened: that flare from the muse, sudden and bright and the images appeared in my mind and came to life without any direction from me. And the best of it all, the idea gifted was not for my own writing but for another mind, a novel I’m currently editing, a scene that the author is a little stuck on what to do with.

Warmed generously by this sudden visitation, eager to get home and email said stuck author, on the way back to the car a second flare exploded… a possible addition to another scene for said author.

Sometimes, the muse is obdurate, other times he plays along with a little effort from self, but occasionally he does all the work and shoots up that flare like a rocket and it explodes in your mind, a beautiful gift from within.


I only wish I could have more rockets. Even one a day would be nice.

How often do you get flares from your muse?

Can you make ‘em happen? Cajole them along? Wheedle them out?

Pray tell.

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  1. My muse flares up right around midnight. 🙂 She works best when I’m in that inbetweeny place between consciousness and dreaming.

    • Mine too, Michelle. Found many great gems during that time when the day-brain is shutting down and the night-brain is readying itself for travel.

  2. My hat is off to you, John. I could not concentrate on my own writing while editing for others. Your’s is an tough undertaking. Congrats!

    • thanks, Barbara . . . I guess I’m lucky to have the mind for it, either that or paying the bills makes it an easier undertaking 🙂

  3. I can rarely tell my fuse what to do. I write as the spark hits me – in the back of envelopes, receipts, notes in the text message area of my cell. Such fun.

    • Same here, Ey. And I guess it’s the same for the majority. For once, I’d like my muse to come out and write while I’m doing something else. Could such a connection be possible? Or would one go insane trying?

      • Lol, I don’t think a serious writer can go insane- its an inborn trait. #imdirectedbystrangevoices

  4. good point – though I think it worth investigating further, if only for the sake of a possible story idea

  5. A brilliant read, really enjoyed it. I’m also the lucky author that received the gems from the muse! I’d been scratching my head for ages over one particular scene and I’m very chuffed indeed that such a creative solution appeared for me as if by magic. That’s the thing about working with Johnny though – you don’t just get an editor. You get a creative wizard, a talented writer and (if you are as lucky as me 🙂 ) a muse throwing up diamonds of insight for your very own project. For me there couldn’t be a better editor, and I wouldn’t consider working without him! I’ve been incorporating the pearls into my WIP since they arrived and have to say the novel is all the better for them. Great job! Many thanks indeed!

    • Thanks for this, Jessica. Although secretly I’m jealous the muse had nothing for me, I am really looking forward to reading those new scenes.


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