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Ninfa Hayes writes about how to kick your muse into shape when it refuses to play ball…

“Giving birth to my Muse…an author’s act of faith and desperation”

By Ninfa Hayes

Calliope: The Muse of Epic Poetry

So, I usually don’t have to fight to get my writing going. If there’s an idea knocking about in my head, chances are I probably will sit down in front of the computer and write something. Might be 300 words, might be 3000, but something will normally flow out of my over-active mind and into the paper/computer screen… or so it should.

Writing “Demonica”, the second novelette in my upcoming short Anthology “Bites” was worst than giving birth, and believe me, I had a helluva time during pregnancy so that’s one big statement right there.

No flowing there. No sitting down comfortably to write about a fully formed story. No Madam. No Sir. My skunk of a Muse had different ideas…

I knew what the feel of the story was going to be, I knew who the characters were…and none of it ever went the way I wanted it too.

It’s like the whole story just decided to re-write itself, and every time I sat down and stared at the computer it just suddenly decided to change all over again.

Now I’m mostly a patient woman, but let’s face it, when you have deadlines to meet you don’t really have the luxury to procrastinate. Me being a lucky, lucky woman, I have an understanding publisher, but it still didn’t sit right with me that this blessed story wasn’t going the way I, the Creator, Final Judge of all things written by my own hand, Mistress of the Laptop and Goddess of my personal fantasy land, wanted.

So I finally decided to stop waiting around for things to fall into place, and fired my Muse.

I gutted the whole story and rearranged it in a way that made new sense to me, giving me a better understanding of where I wanted it to go.

Oh but my Muse did not like it! And how valiantly she fought, the little minx, but eventually I kicked her pretty little backside back into gear, and after months of pining and re-writing, “Demonica” is now safely in the hands of my publisher, Bitten Fruit Books, awaiting editing and seal of approval.

What’s it about? Amusingly it’s about a girl with a dream that doesn’t quite go the way she imagined…sounds familiar?

Perhaps there aren’t demons in my real life, but it seems my subconscious is populated by the buggers and they all decided to come out and play with Miss Writing Muse this time around.

So to those out there struggling to put words together and watching deadlines approach with overwhelming panic I say, kick the Muse where it hurts the most and don’t wait around.

True inspiration is all well and good, but sometimes, and forgive me for paraphrasing “Nike”, you gotta make a plan, rein in those naughty free willed characters, and JUST DO IT!

Believe me, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve 😉

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