20 July 2010

Buzzing, Tingles, and Tricksy Muses

Tara here, bringing you Writing Tuesdays. Well, hopefully at any rate. You see, I think that out of all of the Burrowers, I am probably the least serious person in the group. Don't get me wrong, I am very serious about writing, but in person I am more than a little loopy, and when it comes to blogging, I definitely lean more toward the crazy side of things.

I'm a Spur Of The Moment type of gal, and that usually spills over into my writing. I'm not a planner, I don't 'do' research, and I rarely know what the end of the story is going to be until I am about three quarters of the way through writing it. *shifty* So I've had to ask myself what on earth I was going to ramble about today that could possibly be helpful or informative for anyone.

Then I had a brainwave (yup, I do get them on occasion, which is nice because it means my brain still functions *snorts*). I'm wondering whether it is important or not to have that 'buzz' when you are working on your current WIP. That wonderful feeling of your fingers working almost by themselves, of typing away for a couple of hours and suddenly realising that you have a few thousand words of a decent story written. You see, when I write it can go two ways. Mostly I plod along at a slow-ish pace and have to go back every few minutes or so to check that I haven't written gobbledygook. Normally I can keep about 50-60% of what I have written and call it 'not bad', but the rest is delegated to Deleted Nonsense Land. It's slow going, not to mention discouraging, but I can get a story written this way.

However, the very best way for me to write is when I get taken over by the Muse. When this happens I can write for hours without even thinking about what I am doing. Characters appear from nowhere and take over my fingers, plot twists suddenly pop into my head and take over my brain, and I get this lovely tingly feeling that makes me want to jump up and down like a crazy woman.

Now I'm not trying to say that my writing is fantastic when I get taken over by the Muse - in fact, I probably cut about the same amount during editing as I do with the 'plodding along' stuff - but it's definitely a much nicer writing experience when you're not second-guessing yourself every five minutes and you just let yourself go with the flow.

So the big question is, how important is it really to get that buzz? Personally, I think that Mrs Buzz is a little bit tricksy. She sort of hoodwinks you into believing that you can only write decent stuff when she is around. She makes you believe that if she's not there to give you the Writing Tingles, your story is doomed forever. Yup, she's definitely a little bit sneaksy, that one. While she is a helpful friend to have along for the ride, you don't actually need her to write your story. The story will get written whether Mrs Buzz is there or not, it's just the pace of writing that is different.

So, having come to this conclusion, my little bit of writing advice for you today is simple: free yourself (if you can) from those inhibiting self-doubts and just write. If you feel you are just plodding along and aren't happy with your work, step back from it. Take a break for a couple of days and work on something else. Write about anything. Write about your worst memory, write about your best memory. Write about that time when you tripped over, then skidded down a hill and flashed your boobs to all and sundry (er, maybe that was just me).Write your shopping list in a quirky way if need be, just write. Then go back to your WIP and start typing (or writing, if you prefer the pen and paper method). Train yourself to keep going and going. And going. Teach yourself to ignore the typos and grammar mistakes, and to not worry about plot holes. A first draft is exactly what it says - a draft. Fixing all the technical stuff is what you do when you go into editing mode. If you keep fretting about getting everything perfect the first time around, chances are you will never finish your story.

And as for Mrs Buzz, welcome her with open arms if she pays you a visit, but don't depend on her. You don't need her! While she is nice in her own way, it is not she who is writing the story. That would be YOU.


Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Mrs Buzz, good name for a muse. Mine has no name which is probably why she doesn't do much and is soon to me unemployed.
Once I start I just go with it. Starting is sometimes the toughest.
Love your quirky style!
Giggles and Guns

Amber T. Smith said...

Mary - haha! I guess 'quirky' is as good as any other description used for my style. I've had 'rambling', 'odd', and 'insane' used in the past, so 'quirky' is a step up. *snorts* For me, it's not really the starting I have a problem with, it's finishing the darn things. I've more half-done stories on various hard drives than I have completed stories.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great advice! My muse and I haven't been on speaking terms for years...I'm more of a nose-to-the-grindstone writer. :)

Amber T. Smith said...

Elizabeth - my muse keeps going AWOL, so we don't speak very often either. I wish I was more tenacious, but because I am a natural ditherer, it takes a lot for me to knuckle down and just get on with it. This is why I have so many unfdinished projects. *sighs*

Amber T. Smith said...

Unfdinished?? There's that obligatory typo.... there's always at least one. *shifty*

Cruella Collett said...

I absolutely agree. You cannot sit around and wait for inspiration. A wise man once said (actually, it was my dad) "If I had been waiting for inspiration to strike, I wouldn't have got anything done!" (It might not be the most impressive of quotes, but the meaning is key - Buzzie might never find you so go get your work done anyway!)

Unknown said...

I wish I could write on a whim about anything that pops into my head. I think my problem is that I am too analytical and critical when it comes to my own writing. I have to overplan and continually revise/ edit as I go along. It is no wonder that I have yet to finish one of my many works in progress.

Great post!

Hart Johnson said...

I wholeheartedly DENY that you are sillier than me! Hmph! Barumph! PThhhhhhhhhht!

But I also AGREE that the muse will come and go, so while it is LOVELY to write while he dances like I like, it is far more important to be able to keep at it when he takes those long vacations (he is a slut, after all, and inclined to disappear for months on end... can't give up productivity on HIS timetable!)