Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Abbey MacInnis

Muse Versus Inspiration: What’s Your Motivation To Write?

Okay, I know, not a very inspiring title for this post. *g* But honestly, to me, there is a difference between finding inspiration to write, and waiting for your Muse to come along and inspire you. I personally love finding inspiration. It’s everywhere. You just have to look and listen to your environment.

The Muses originated in Greek mythology. There were nine water nymphs in all, fathered by the king of the Gods, Zeus. They served as a way to inspire those with artistic tendencies. Today, artists who believe in the idea of the Muse, use an object or person to inspire them. I’ve never had a Muse before – something coming along and saying “Hi Abbey, let me be your source for inspiration.” Lol Maybe it’s not like that, but I’m curious. What’s your Muse if you have one? Share it with me.

I’ve had some writers ask me if I believe in the idea of the Muse. My answer has always been, and will always be...no. This is not a criticism of those who do believe in their Muse inspiring them. If you’re writing and happy with what you’re doing, that’s awesome! From my experience, however, some writers I’ve known in the past rely on their Muse to inspire them, rather than finding the inspiration and the drive to write on their own. They use the excuse of not having their Muse around as a method for procrastination for not writing. They keep waiting for their Muse to show up. They’re disappointed when she doesn’t come around. Hence more time passes without getting words on the page, and losing out on all the opportunities for finding new ideas.

Most writers I know don’t rely on a Muse. They’ve found she’s unreliable. They’ve learned to only rely on themselves to go and search for inspiration, rather than waiting for their Muse to hand it to them. I have to write. It isn’t I think I have to. I need to. I cant’ wait around for my Muse. There are dozens of stories, slivers of scenes, and character profiles stashed away in my head. I get new ones all the time. I couldn’t imagine using one object or person as my main track for inspiration.

Instead, I prefer to seek out inspiration in the world around me. There’s a plethora of it to be found. You just have to be open enough to recognizing it. There are endless opportunities for ideas. From hearing something on the news, a song on the radio, to overhearing a conversation you’re not supposed to. From reading an article in the newspaper that might trigger an idea, surfing the internet, to smelling fresh-cut grass on a warm autumn day. Hearing a child’s playful laughter, watching the seasons change, and eating your favorite snack that invokes memories of happy or sad times. Snapshots of scenes, characters, or stories can hit you when you least expect it.

For instance, for my latest release, Delighting Miss Daisy a Wayback Texas story, I had the idea that my heroine, Daisy could own her own bakery after grabbing a chocolate chip cookie. Lol... I don’t know if there’s something in chocolate, but I felt much better after eating the cookie – and I thought that my heroine was the kind of woman who loves making people feel good inside. She loves bringing people together and her baking does just that. She’s gone through some hard times, but expressing herself through cooking makes her feel completed. I don’t actually say that, but you hopefully get the idea from how I tell her story. *g*

Weird, huh? *g* There’s a lot more to Daisy and her hero, Sam, which I won’t go into. You’ll have to read the book to see how things turn out for them. *g*

So, tell me, where do you get your ideas? If you have a Muse, what or who is it? To me, inspiration and motivation are closely linked. What motivates you to write? How do you get through those days when it seems to take you eons to just write a single page? Are you a glutton for punishment like me, insisting on just plowing through the tough times until you’re writing full speed ahead again? Do you have those moments where it’s your characters who inspire you? Does the light bulb flash in your mind showing you a piece of their past that you knew was the missing element in your story?

Whatever you do, I hope it keeps you writing, happy and fulfilled.

Bio: Abbey has always been a sucker for a good love story. She’s been a reader for nearly all of her life. When she first decided to make an attempt at writing down the stories and characters vying for her attention, she had no idea how quickly she would fall in love with the writing process. It’s been a while since then, but since that day, she’s discovered what she’s meant to do – creating heartwarming and passionate romance, and characters to fall in love with. She lives in south east Michigan with her family and black Lab, who, along with friends, give her all the love and support in the world, and sometimes, inspiration with their adventures.

Visit her at: www.abbeymacinnis.com

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Bebo

Join her announcement-only Yahoo group

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Delighting Miss Daisy, a Wayback Texas story now available from The Wild Rose Press

Blurb

When Sam Howard, CEO of Sam’s Smooth Sliding Ale, arrives in Wayback to advertise his product for the rodeo, bakery entrepreneur Daisy Porter goes on a crusade to tear down every poster in town. Can Daisy look past the businessman to the compassionate man underneath, or has the lock to her heart finally rusted shut? Sam is a patient man, who doesn’t force his way through the walls she’s placed up to guard her heart. With the threat of someone from her past shadowing her, can Daisy reclaim her self-confidence and strength to find happiness with Sam?


Click here to purchase the book

Delighting Miss Daisy trailer

11 comments:

Cindy K. Green said...

Hey Abbey. I'm with you. I don't buy into the whole Muse-thing. But there are moments I definitely feel inspired and I have to go with it. I love how you came up with Daisy's profession. Now that was inspired.

Sarita Leone said...

Delighting Miss Daisy sounds wonderfully romantic. Best of luck with it.

I enjoyed this post very much. Agree with you on the muse thing. *G* If I waited for a Muse to show up I don't think I'd have written even one book.

Jennifer Shirk said...

My Muse is with me, but I don't depend on her. LOL! I usually gain inspiration from reading or just getting a change of scenery where I write.

PS. I gave Marianne an "award".

Miss Mae said...

The funny thing is, I never knew "Muses" existed until I became a "writer." (Is it okay if I call myself that?)

I just get a bee in my bonnet...okay, an idea bouncing around in my mind...and I go with that. Not a Muse, and probably not inspiration either...LOL...

Good post, Abbey. Thanks for sharing! :)

Miss Mae said...

Abbey, I tried to friend you at MySpace and it wanted either your last name or addy for confirmation. It wouldn't take Macinnis!

So, please friend me instead...

http://www.myspace.com/missmaeauthor

and

http://www.myspace.com/monamurphy

Abbey MacInnis said...

I don't think I'd get any books written either if I'd relied on my muse. :-)
Miss Mae, I'll friend you instead. Sorry about that.
I was pretty tickled myself when I came up with the idea for Daisy's backstory and character. :-)
Congrats, Marianne on the award. :-)
Miss Mae, why wouldn't you consider yourself a writer? You're inspired by something, even if you aren't sure what it was exactly that inspired you. lol If it ain't broke, don't fix it is what I say. :-) Sometimes, I don't know where some of my ideas come from either. :-)

Marguerite Arotin said...

Hi hon (from your writing partner in crime ;-)). Cool post. I can really, truly say that I've only had one muse.
When researching local Ohio lore, I came across a snippet about a nineteenth century counterfieter who was also the Sherrif of a local township. The guy sounded really interesting to me, so I researched him some more, and he turned into my villain for my Ohio Historical romance- The Locktender's Daughter. Now when I found out exactly where this gentleman was buried, of course I had to pay my respects. That's the only time though, but interesting enough is that he ended up being my favorite villain out of everything I've written ;-). Probably because he was so real
;-D.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

I never thought about if I had a muse or not, so I guess that means I don't really believe in it. And if I do have one, she's sure deserted me this year...lol. I'm not sure where I get my inspiration for my stories....of all the ones I wrote, I can't say I looked at something and said, hey...that'll work. Maybe I've just forgotten that 'ah, ha' moment, though.

There is one wip I'm trying to work on, that I got inspired by the song "Last Name." I'm still trying to work out the kinks in it...so no muse working there either.

Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

Anna Kathryn

Debra St. John said...

HI Abbey! I do so enjoy getting inspired by everyday life. It's music that usually does it for me.

Abbey MacInnis said...

Hey my writing partnre in crime, that's a really awesome story about that villain. :-)
Anna Kathryn, I know how that is. I think, in those cases, like the one you're going through, the story's always simmering even if we're having trouble with it. I've went through that myself. You'll figure it out. :-)
Debra, I love when hearing a song inspires me! It sometimes just takes a line or two, and I'm off and running. :-)
I have to thank Marianne for having me here today, and for all these great comments. :-) This was fun. :-)

Christine Trent said...

If deadline = muse, then yup, waiting for the muse will definitely get you motivated!! :)

Christine