Held Hostage by my Muse

I read other authors’ blogs. Because, you know, I like to know how you think. I don’t like to believe I’m the only strange person in ‘scribe’ land. I have enough angst.

But, I’m beginning to think maybe I am a little stranger than most.

See, for the last several months I’ve been writing hard. Way more intense than normal. Before December, I sat myself down daily and didn’t let me up until I’d written at least 2500 words. Semi-decent words. Strung together to make a coherent sense in whichever story I’m writing. Once I hit that magic number, I’d quit writing, check mail, do research, housework (though I’ll find any excuse to take me away from that!), or cook for those days when I’m too tired to cook or busy with something else.

Works for me.

Well, in December, something changed. May have been because I got involved in that week of a story a day for Coffin Hop and reading every other post almost daily, or the whole month of SciFiNovember, me writing one item a week, checking and trying to comment on everyone else’s.

Must have galvanized me.

December, my Muse nudged me, even after my 2500 words. Scenes drew themselves in my brain, insisting I just jot a little more down.

Sometimes I sat and wrote that little bit. But then, the next day, my muse would urge me to stay longer. Almost as if she loved our sessions too much to let me go.

December is too busy a month to just write. I had company coming, feasts to prepare, goodies to bake, gifts to sew and shopping to finish. That’s not counting the number of hours my driveway took all of us to shovel.

When my guests left, I rested and slept two whole days. Cleared my brain. Took stock of my pantry, set guidelines for everything I wanted to accomplish this year. Before I looked at my stories.

That’s when she grabbed me. My Muse. Held me hostage to the tune of over 5000 words every day. Not pretty words. Not always the scenes that melded into a pleasant whole. Once I figured out what she wanted, I tried to fudge those extra words. you know, write garbage.

She knows the difference. Wouldn’t let me concentrate on anything else until I’d written her arbitrary minimum.

I’ve been up for air a few times. I know I have. But for the most part, she’s held me to my keyboard for hours at a stretch. As if this story can’t wait. Has to be finished. Right away.

It’s not even the story I’d been working on. Not any of them. Nope. This is a brand new one I haven’t even planned out in the slightest.

I managed to pry myself away two days ago. I shopped, did some laundry, cooked, and bathed. And watched a few TV shows! I even got to read a book by somebody else!

I paid for that last night. I went to bed at my regular hour, fell asleep fast, as is usual.

At two I dreamt of a scene that just has to go into one of the chapters. Has to. Woke me up. I tossed a few times, talking myself into going back to sleep.

I nightmared I’m writing that scene. The same words over and over. By hand. With one of my calligraphy pens. In copperplate letter forms.

Well, that woke me up again at 3:04am. This time I’m far to agitated to sleep.

I turn on the computer, make a pot of tea, open the story file. And the next thing I know, it’s dawn. I nibble something, make fresh tea, walk the dog before sitting again.

At noon I call a halt. My fingers ache.

I’m exhausted. I think the scene is written but my vision’s too blurry to check. I’ll read what I wrote tomorrow. Right now, it’s time for a nap. Well, right after I post this thing.

I’ve never found any author complaining of this type of thing happening to them. So I have to ask…

Does your Muse ever do this to you?


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