Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Controlling the Magic

I've really been struggling with this gift / curse of a creative mind. I once said to my husband, "I wonder what it would be like to live in only one world at a time."

His reply was, "Well, you'll never know."

At least he's getting it. Dear man!

In my current project, I'm exploring the concept of magic as something that rises innately within the characters and which they struggle to control. Not a novel idea, I know, but new to me.

Anyway, a funny thought occurred to me as I was musing last night over this puzzle of how to function in the workaday world as a creative soul: What if I think of writing as magic?

What if when I feel that urge, I think of suppressing it as the same kind of skill my characters must learn, and releasing it when called upon, another skill? A whimisical thought, but I'm grasping at anything these days.

What have you, dear fellow bloggers, done to control the muse during your non-writing hours? Please... tell me.


  1. I let my muse roam free in the wilderness. It's gotten to the point where I'm being sued by various parties for the wanton destruction my muse has caused. My court date is February 30th, 20-Never.

    This is how I truly control my muse, by just being creative and silly round the clock. I just let it out randomly, even if it earns me a raised eyebrow or two.

  2. This was one fabulous blog post! As soon as I'm done commenting this is going straight on my twitter feed.

    Magic in words can often become a curse! Right now I have three new ideas that all need to be outlined but my mind has exploded and doesn't know where to start! I want to be grateful for such great stuff, but the overwhelming idea of living 'currently' four lives is rough on the brain.

  3. I never turn it off but just keep my phone handy for notes to myself.

    And as you know from yesterday's emails, once I'm synopsizing a new idea, I can't stop. I'm going to go back and compile today.

    One of the speakers on Sunday said: "There are actually people, when they see a man with a briefcase, simply see a man with a briefcase."

    How boring their lives must be.

  4. You know, incidentally, I think that's why the threads work so well for me. I get tense when I can't write (like crabby tense) and it sort of scratches the itch for me constantly, even though I'm writing all sorts of other stuff.

    I mean, literally, I could read and write 16 hours a day. Heh. Sometimes 20!

  5. I'm not sure where you're currently squeezing writing into your routine, but I wonder if it would help you if you woke very early and got a chance to pour out some ideas before the rest of the day got in the way. It's something I'm thinking of trying myself.

  6. I'm going to try that, Laurel. But that means cutting the threads off in the evenings so I can get to bed at a decent hour. I'm usually online with Betsy until quite late. The two hour time difference pretty much guarantees she won't be online @ 5 am my time, so I can't be tempted to play.

    I used to get up early to write on a regular basis, but that whole routine got lost a long time ago.

  7. Bets, I could do it 20 hours a day too... But that ain't gonna happen any time soon!

  8. Fun idea. I have to keep a notebook by me or a least a pen. Then if I have a musing, I can quickly write it down, even if it's on my hand, and then move on with my day without worrying that I will forget it. Forgetting is my biggest pet peeve.

  9. I can see this struggle - there are lulls in teaching when you could , maybe, get a line or two written but is one line or two lines going to satisfy you or will the craving take hold bigtime!

    I'm like Jen Daiker, I have four novels outlined in my journal and I feel none of them like the idea of waiting their turn ;)

  10. I don't know if I ever do control it. My mind is always churning with ideas and while I may not be writing, the writer's mind is always at work.

    I have a little notebook that's always handy to jot down ideas; if my coworkers only knew what went in there.

  11. Hi Elaine... when I was teaching, I had more time to write. My schedule was much more flexible, with winter and summer breaks.

    Now I am working full-time in an office with very little vacation, and the job is an hour from my home. So with all the commuting and the soccer mom gig, and just trying to cope with my massively dirty house and errands on the weekends, it is very difficult to find any energy be creative... except during the workday when I'm chained to my desk. Because what do writers do when they are sitting in front of a computer? Write. Only, I'm not allowed to. I'm supposed to be working.

    But writing IS work. Just not the work I'm being paid for. The trick is to figure out how to get someone to pay me for it. As much as I'm getting paid to do spreadsheets.

    Yeah. right!


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