07 June 2007

Has Anybody Seen My Muse?

My muse has been a constant companion for all the years I've been writing. It's outlasted most of my serious relationships. Any creative flight of fancy it inspired, I was along for the ride. "Hmm, a novel about passion and intrigue in Moorish Spain; and I should spend a couple of weeks in Spain to do my research? Let's do it!"

Flash forward to a month ago. In the midst of upheaval at home, frustrations at work and really nasty cold, I realized my muse had gone missing. No more fingers clacking away on the keyboard to finish the novel, no more mad dashes off to the library or local Borders for new research. Author friends reassured me, "Don't worry, it'll come back."

I can only assume it's left me for a more talented, driven writer. So what have I done about it? First, I tried not to worry, convincing myself that I needed the break. So I went on vacation, went to the movies, caught up on the latest celebrity gossip, hung out with friends, knowing that if I gave it enough time, my muse would return. Then of course, guilt set in. "I really should be at home working on that novel." But instead of staring at a blank screen on my computer, I pulled out the old photo album and looked at some of those great pictures I'd taken of Spain. I also went on Wikipedia to edit some of the on-line articles about the historical figures in my novel, all the while thinking, "I've really got to finish this novel and get it in the hands of the right publisher. Too many inaccuracies about these people; maybe I can set the record straight."

Well, it's June and I'm still waiting for that good old friend of mine to return. Since I've been assured by my writer friends that this happens to everyone, what do you when your muse has left you? How do you try to get that inspiration back?