Why I hate writing, Part 5 – Fighting the muse

Back when I was painting on a regular basis, my muse and I were in the zone. She’d have me up a few late nights, but we were working together. She guided my mind and my brush and we made some pretty creative stuff, her and I. Some days I wonder if I should give up my pen and pick up my brush again. Because while my artist muse is quirky, artsy, fun and funky, my writing muse?

She’s kind of a bitch.

Take my visit to the beach for example. Had my artist muse come along on that vacation, we would have collected shells along the beach…

and perhaps brainstormed about different ways one might re-purpose all the planks lying around that used to be the pier.

We would have been amused at the clever way old floats were used to decorate the trees,

admired the oil paintings that lined the walls, and delighted in the fact that another artist once called the cottage their home away from home.

We might have even done some imaginary redecorating: “I bet painting the backs of the bookcases a bright coral would really make them pop. Or maybe a soft Caribbean blue would work, too.”

But alas, artist muse stayed at home with the cat. The other muse came along on this trip. She’s pretty much always around lately, whether she’s welcome or not. She even butts in on the rare occasion I’m painting or designing something. Rude, huh?

It wasn’t enough for her that almost every possible inch on the wall or space on a shelf was occupied by some token from another time. My other muse simply would have appreciated the time and care that went into arranging all these memories. Writing muse? No way.

“What’s the rest of their story?” she asks me.

“How is it that a college professor meets and marries an artist?”

“Seems she was a teacher, but not on a college level. Looks more like elementary school.”

“He appeared to be a deep thinker.”

“She was a bit of a romantic dreamer.”

“How did they make that work? Or did they make that work?”

“Clearly, many vacations were spent here — kids and grandkids both”

“The owner said her stepdad built this place in the 1950’s. Did he have kids from another marriage as well?”

“Did all the kids and grandkids from their blended family get along, or was there tension?”

And on and on…

It’s been a week since my vacation, and yet the questions and demands continue…

“What are their stories, Kathy?”

In my defense I reply, “But I can’t possibly contain those stories to a series of blog posts. There are too many words!”

“Who said anything about a blog post? You write until you’re finished. Worry about what you have when you’re done. Now, put some coffee on. You’re going to be up for awhile.”

And y’all thought I was bossy…

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16 Responses to “Why I hate writing, Part 5 – Fighting the muse”

  1. angie mizzell December 3, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    My writer muse and your writer muse must be related. I’m hoping to find a brand new camera under the tree this year. I’m going to hang out with novice-photo-taker muse when my writer muse is being testy. Maybe they’ll learn to be friends. I mean, can’t we all just get along?

  2. Joe December 3, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    Does that mean we can expect some short stories from katdish soon? That sounds exciting!

  3. Heather Sunseri December 3, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    Love this! I love wondering about a person’s “story” based on their outer appearance or the way they’re interacting with another person. Like when two people are having an animated conversation inside a car beside me or in the mall, but I can’t hear them. I plain love to imagine the lives of others. I can make up stuff way more interesting that what’s probably actually happening.

  4. Sandra Heska King December 3, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    A book? A book?

  5. Louise December 3, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Dear Muse, keep pestering her. We need her stories.

    Thank you.

    Your friend,

    Anti Muse

    PS — this line — good! real good! You write until you’re finished.

  6. Jake December 3, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Write lady, write! And muses are terrible people. They genuinely expect us to cater to their every whim and it makes me want to throw up in my mouth just a little because I don’t do that for anyone– but it feels so good when I do… I guess I understand how people can stay in abusive relationships. I’m kind of kidding and exaggerating- blowing this out of proportion but hey! I liked what you had to say! 🙂

  7. Maureen December 3, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    You have some great stuff here for stories. Write on!

  8. Megan Willome December 3, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    My favorite line? “She’s kind of a bitch.”

    See, I KNEW I liked you!

  9. okiewife December 3, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    I love my artist muse, but the writer muse seems to have abandoned me. I’m not surprised since I am not a writer, just a part-time blogger. I plan to leave the writing to those of you being hounded by The Writer’s Muse Bitch. I really don’t enjoy her company. You keep her Kathy so we can continue to enjoy your blogs, (and stories)

  10. karen December 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    I know that crank and she is all the time getting me into trouble.

  11. Kathleen December 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Hang the muse, I’d like to go on vacation with you. 🙂 ……because of the mermaid sand sculpture.

  12. Cassandra Frear December 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    This is fun and funny. Like you.

    As for that muse, take her out for hot chocolate and let her look at some pretty things. She’ll soften up with a little kindness.

  13. Jason December 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Hey, at least your muse is musing. 🙂

  14. Sharkbait December 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    My muse never shuts up…

    Unless I’m on a deadline.

  15. Su December 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    My muse is like that, too! And what’s worse, she’s managed to access the stuff that runs my mouth, so sometimes she takes over that, too, and says things OUT LOUD that I would prefer to keep quiet.

  16. Duane Scott December 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    I’m late to the party.

    Anyway, I think you should let your artist muse morph more with your writing muse. I bet the two would get along great, because I really enjoyed this post.

    I can’t wait to hear the stories behind these people. 🙂

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