My MUSE is addicted to prescription pills
I had a middle ear infection last week (I know, totally TMI), but, in addition to discovering I have a dodgy eustachian tube, I also found out there’s something to be said about lying around, doped up on promethazine, to light the spark of inspiration.
The infection had been festering (EEW!) for about six weeks, which had slowed me down considerably. My hand eye coordination was about a good as a newborn foal’s (which isn’t good at all when you consider they have hooves, not hands) and my brain felt like it was swimming underwater—not to mention my hearing being completely shot.
But, on a non-hypochondriac note, the lethargy seemed to wake up my muse (it seems he, she, it feels stifled by my fully functioning brain). I suddenly had more ideas for novels than I’ve had in the past two years—and many have since withstood the broad daylight test (this is my mandatory test for ideas that arrive in the middle of the night, i.e. do they sound just as MINDBLOWINGLY AWESOME in the morning?).
As a result, I’ve now almost plotted an entire three book series while lying flat on my back on the couch. The moral of this story is NOT to stock up on prescription drugs. The moral is to stop—not to smell the roses (because that in itself is a distraction). Just STOP. STOP checking your emails and social networks incessantly. STOP thinking about that load of washing that needs to be put on. STOP trying to beat a world record for fastest response time to text messages.
I find in these moments you can finally hear your muse, whispering the stories to you. Or perhaps that was just a side effect of the promethazine…
Ernest Hemmingway famously (and arguably) said that writing was like cutting open a vein and bleeding onto a page. Sheesh. I shudder to think what he would have said about getting published! Every Tuesday, I dust off my creative writing degree (yes, from an actual, real-life university) and share my learnings about the process of writing and getting published (yes, I know learnings is technically not a word, but I worked in public relations for a number of years and we like to make words up. Helifordite?). You can check out all of my Tuesday Tips here.