October 14, 2011
Are You a-Mused Yet?
Get Your Muse On
There are writers feel story and character ideas are fed to them from “somewhere else”. That “somewhere else” is a very vague concept and means different things to different scribes. Nonetheless, writers who hold such beliefs say it is very important to allow your mind to be open to receiving these ideas – wherever they come from.
Personally, I’ve had moments when I felt plugged into a conduit, receiving stories, characters and ideas- though I hesitate to say if this was a spiritual event or just the way the brain works in creative mode.
And it is a rare enough event – I can never conjure ‘the writing rapture’ but if I write often it’ll roll around every now and again. And when it does, it’s a magical moment when stories and characters come swimming to me, all done-up, pre-packaged and ready to go.
All we can do is sit down to write every day- most days you’ll get coal but if you keep at it, the diamond muse will show up sooner or later.
From Ireland, Sue Healy is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre, London, a full-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. Her book on theatre literary management is published by Routledge, December 2022.
Sue is an award-winning writer for stage, TV, and prose writer.
Her current project, a 6x60minute TV series, is under option. She is under commission with Lone Wolf Media, producers behind PBS’ “Mercy Street”, to co-write the pilot and treatment for a six-part TV series.
Her most recent stage-play, Imaginationship (2018), enjoyed a sold out, extended run at the Finborough and later showed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Her previous stage productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s short plays have been performed at the Criterion (Criterion New Writing Showcase), Arcola (The Miniaturists) and Hackney Attic (Fizzy Sherbet Shorts).
Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm.
Sue has won The Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award, Meridian Prize and has been published in nine literary journals and anthologies including: The Moth, Flight, Tainted Innocence, New Writer, Duality, HISSAC, New European Writers. She has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from annual artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy.
An academic with a PhD in modern theatre history, specifically the Royal Court Theatre, Sue has presented her research internationally. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She has a PhD in modern theatre history (Royal Court Theatre) and is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumnus.
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October 14th, 2011 at 12:39
It is a truly amazing and wonderful thing isn’t it and so difficult to explain. magic is the only word I can use – Yup love it and treat it with great respect .
October 14th, 2011 at 12:54
Sue, this is EXACTLY what Steven Pressfield talks about in his book (“The War of Art”)! You would love it — so much will resonate with you. I swear I’m not doing his PR; I just love the book! ;p
October 14th, 2011 at 13:07
I call it a ‘trance’; you know, you’ve become almost one with your character(s); you can hear their thoughts and voices clearly; you can see their surroundings; and you block out all distractions and pour all your heart and soul into your writing. When this happens, I say “Hello, old friend! I’ve so missed you! Please hang around a little while longer.”
October 14th, 2011 at 14:40
Funny, I don’t consider myself to have a muse, but I feel like when I write I’m not thinking about what I’m writing, it’s just being channeled. This is especially true with poetry, they seem to gel in my mind almost completely formed.
October 14th, 2011 at 14:43
Wonderfully stated Sueheal. I would like to use your experience with your assistance anyway,because I am also an upcoming writer who stays in Njeru town council,the district of Buikwe,Uganda and a freelance journalist working with one of the many FM radio stations in Uganda.Good writing Suehealy, we shall do the reading.
October 14th, 2011 at 15:20
I have a theory about my own muse; after about a morning of having trouble getting jump-started, it seems to finally arrive about three minutes before my roommate wakes up and tries to talk to me.
You’re absolutely right, though; the more I write, the more likely it is the muse comes around to help me out. Fuel for the fire, so to speak. My muse, at the very least, doesn’t like for me to just wait around for her to show up; she likes to know I’ve been warming up and getting ready for her! Nothing beats that feeling of inspiration that finally sweeps in and whisks you away, though. Nothing.
October 18th, 2011 at 22:27
Thanks for visiting today, and for the follow. 🙂
I hope you don’t mind that I tweeted this post. It’s such a good message, especially with NaNoWriMo coming up.
October 19th, 2011 at 23:48
Thanks for the tweet, Sheri!