Thursday, December 14, 2006

Musing on the muse . . .

According to the info in the column to the right, today's theme/topic is "Thankful Thursdays"--it's for blogging about our good news. I'll be honest and admit I signed up for this date before the themes were in place, so bear with me.

I don't have any specific good news in the writing arena at the moment, unless you count the fact that I am writing, despite the craziness of the season and the recent steady stream of appointments cluttering my calendar. I'm pretty grateful for that, since it can be a tough time of year to concentrate (and I've not always done a good job of it). I'm also very glad that my characters are talking--to each other, and to me. That's always a help when I'm writing (it definitely makes my job easier :-)).

After all, the muse doesn't always decide to visit, but we've still got books to write and deadlines to meet.

If the muse calls, do you have to answer? If I didn't have the outlet of writing to express my creativity, what would I do about the characters my brain tosses out into my awareness? Would they still clamor for their stories to be told, or would I simply be haunted by people who will never exist unless I bring them to life?

My muse--whoever she may be (I haven't quite figured that out yet)--has been around for a long time, though it took quite a while before I recognized her. I can't remember when I didn't plot and plan for the characters that pop into my mind. I've always been a day dreamer, and I always "directed" those day dreams, mulling over how my casts of imaginary friends might act and react, what they'd do and what they'd say. It never occurred to me to write down those day dreams; after all, I was going to be a doctor or a lawyer when I grew up . . . which later changed to an engineer when I got out of college (and everyone knows engineers don't write . . . heck, rumor is they can barely spell ;-)). I did become an engineer, but in between studying advanced aerodynamics and testing hydraulic research models, the day dreams continued until I had to write them down to purge them from my brain.

I'm glad I finally realized the truth--I'm a writer. There are times I long for the old days, when my biggest problem was how to design a reactor sump or a dam spillway. Numbers behave in a fairly consistent manner; I can't say my characters always do. However, most of the time I wouldn't trade my characters for those numbers on a bet.

I'm a writer, and I'm very thankful for that.

What are you grateful for?

8 comments:

K said...

I'm grateful I live in a time when imagination is appreciated.

Lovely thoughts, Sharon.

Kelly

Alexis Morgan said...

I'm grateful for the friends I have made since I started my writing career, both other writers and fellow readers. It has been a great joy to find so many others who are like me, who actually get me and what I do. It takes a different mindset to sit down at the computer and let that muse (bless her heart!) take control of hours of your life at a stretch to bring our stories to life.

Allison Brennan said...

Hi Sharon! My husband was a physics, geology and mechanical engineering major (he went to college part time for four years then full time for four years!) and now he's a writer, too (NF, opeds, speeches, etc.) The sciences must be good for the muse . . .

I am grateful for my health, and the health of my children. I am grateful that I am able to do what I love to do--write. I am grateful that this year I'm able to give a little bit back when in the past we'd struggled during the holiday season.

JoAnn Ross said...

Lovely thoughts, Sharon,

So. . . I'm grateful for my three muses, despite the fact that they're divas who spend much of their lives in PMS mode, which can be more than a tad trying. . .

I'm grateful for my family and my furry little rescued dogs, who never fail to welcome me home with great joy bordering on insane glee, even if all I've done is go out to check the mail. (That's the dogs who are gleeful; my family's more restrained). . .

I'm grateful that I have the job I've wanted since I was seven years old and, as a bonus, can work in my jammies if I want to. . .

I'm grateful for all the readers who've let me know I've entertained or touched them over the years. . .

I'm grateful for all the very dear and special friends I've made in my 24 years in this business. . .

And I will be EXTREMELY grateful if my never-ending front porch gets finished sometime in this decade! :)

Terry Z McDermid said...

Good thoughts, Sharon. Sometimes it's easy to look for the big things in life and forget all the little parts that make life worth living.

I'm grateful our oldest son is home for the holidays. And that we have family to visit over the holidays.

I'm very grateful I have a way to organize those voices in my head so that others don't think I'm nuts (or very nuts). Had an interesting conversation with a friend who teaches line dancing. She hears rhythms in her head all the time. We both felt better knowing we weren't alone -- and it answered the question for both of us of what people who don't write or aren't musical hear.

Alesia said...

I'm grateful for my wonderful family, for good friends who encourage and commiserate, and for chocolate. Very grateful for chocolate.

Nancy Morse said...

I don't have a muse. I rely solely on myself for whatever inspiration comes my way insofar as my writing goes. If I'm not inspired, then it just means I'm not paying enough attention to what's around me and I have to work harder to make it happen. Just like the little elves don't sneak in at night and write my mss for me, there's no muse sitting on my shoulder. It's sort of like sports. In team sports you can't really take all the credit for winning or blame for losing. In a game like tennis, it's just you out there. If you win, you made it happen. If you lose, you have no one but yourself to blame. I don't want to blame a muse for not being there when I need her. And call me selfish, but I also don't want to give her credit for my hard work.

I'm grateful that my fingers are still flexible enough to work the keyboard, that my brain hasn't gone into lobotomy mode, that people actually pay real money to read my books, and that I live in a country where I can write what I want, say what I want and read what I want.

Christie Craig said...

Sharon,

Love it. And you are so right, we are writers and have to produce even when our muses have gone on vacation.

CC