Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gigi's Muse is Fickle

The muse is fickle.

That's correct; I'm not one of those people who can write every day. I need to be inspired.

Luckily for me, a lot of things happen to inspire me.

Castle ruins perched on a cliff. That'll do it.

Too remote? It's true that stumbling across ruins doesn't happen every day. At least not for those of us in California.

Then how about San Francisco on a foggy day. That'll do it, too.

Perhaps that's not quite inspiring enough for a bad day, though. Then how about a moss-covered statue at a cemetery.

OK, so I've been inspired...

Now what? I know it's hard work, so I really do try to sit down and write -- even when the mood doesn't strike me and I feel like the muse hasn't found me. I do get some work done when I force myself to sit down. It's just that it isn't always writing that happens.

Sometimes I bounce around plot ideas. Other times I finish research that needs to be done. But if I'm not inspired, I can't do more than that. I need to find that place where my characters talk to each other, writing their dialogue for me.

I play the odds. I surround myself with inspiring mystery-related art in my office, like this Sherlock Holmes poster. I also know the muse tends to appear in the morning, so I've arranged my schedule to fit in morning writing. (Since I'm a slave to this fickle muse, I might as well go with it.)

Last week I finished the revised outline of a new book (whew!). The reason I was able to do so was because I was sitting in my writing nook while this furious storm beat down outside. A storm, like fog, is inspiring. I hope the storm continues through this weekend. Who knows how far it'll take me.

If not, I can always take a break and watch a kick-ass TV heroine for inspiration. Here's one of my favorites.

-- Gigi


Martha Flynn said...

women + gun + catsuit = muse gold!

Unknown said...

i love stormy days for writing too!!yay on finishing the outline :)

Sophie Littlefield said...

your photos are just so amazing. that cherub one....sigh
that's a muse right there, brings half a dozen stories to mind...

Rachael said...

I wish we could just order up these stormy days when we need them, don't you? that would be handy.

Unknown said...

I thought Emma Peel was the epitome of cool when I was 6. And Honey West. I even had a Honey West doll.

Did you see Dame Helen Mirrin at the GG? Stunning. She's my muse for the next phase of life ;)

Gigi Pandian said...

Mysti -- I didn't discover The Avengers until my adult life. Now that Netflix exists, I'm catching up on my Emma Peel viewing!

L.G.C. Smith said...

Storms! How could I forget storms? My second historical was called "Storm Dancers." My favorite storms for inspiration are big old thunderstorms rolling across the Northern Plains. Western South Dakota under storm clouds has been one of my most enduring muses.

Gigi Pandian said...

Sadly, I hear that even though I got soaking wet on my way to work today, the storm is supposed to let up for the weekend. Oh well. At least I have an Avengers DVD to watch.