I don’t suffer Writer’s Block… I don’t wait on the muse, I summon it at need


Capture the muse

Q: Do you follow a strict outline when you write, or does the story “flow”?

A: This is in between. I never do a full outline, and if I did, I would not feel bound to it, because the view from inside a scene can be different from the view outside it. But neither do I just start writing and see what happens; I am far more disciplined than that. One reason I don’t suffer Writer’s Block is that I don’t wait on the muse, I summon it at need. Normally I work out a general summary of what I mean to do, then start writing, and the details can be different from my anticipation. So there is considerable flow, but always within channels.

by Piers Anthony (born August 6, 1934)
from an Interview with Piers Anthony (2000-05-06)
at www.sffworld.com
image – Michael (mx5tx)

Muses and Bridges

The source of this one was not easy to track down. I looked and looked for where it could possibly appear in a book – Piers Anthony mentions muses and writing in a few of his many books. No luck there, in book after book. When I gave up on searching books the answer appeared fairly quickly: this quote is from an online interview at www.sffworld.com.

Giving up without quitting was my bridge. Was I my own muse? Not quite. I power this thing, but I give part of what I do over to faith in what I know — I create an angel who is a few steps ahead of me, almost knowing what is not quite on the tip of my tongue, and I follow her as she goes forward. The faster she goes, the faster I follow. If she seems lost, I throw breadcrumbs and whatever else seems like it will break the ice – I become the one who is a few steps ahead, almost knowing what is not quite on the tip of her tongue.

If I had to name the QuoteSnack muses, they’d be Curiosity and her cousin Stubborn. I Know I am going to look until I find, even when I don’t feel like it. I have faith that this discipline is good for me, and I believe I am doing something good for my culture. Every quote that I track down is a bridge, a window to more. Soundbites may work for a minute-long news story, but they’re not enough for culture.

Home Fires and Sweet Spots

Romantic muses are something else again. Meet the Mr./Mrs Wonderful muse, get into that rarefied ecstasy and ride the wave. What could be simpler, right? Maybe. What happens when Mr. Muse forgets to put the toilet seat down, or or needs a few days to go fishing with the boys? Depending on outside inspirations can be dangerous – there is a danger of not picking up on the power of what’s left inside, when the dazzle of romantic inspiration is absent. This muse thing can’t be too passive or selective.

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One Response to “I don’t suffer Writer’s Block… I don’t wait on the muse, I summon it at need”

  1. clarissa mcfairy Says:

    O, I just love the image you chose of the lassoo for capturing the Muse. And everything that followed. “Curiosity and her cousin Stubborn”, haha, I know them both well, and love that you named them thus. Keep it up. I’m loving every moment! And all the musings that accompany your Quote Snack. My word, it has given a whole new meaning to snacks!