Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Writing Tip Tuesdays: Finding Your Muse By Sarah Foster

Welcome back for another Writing Tip Tuesday. I'm very happy to welcome today a fantastically The Faux Fountain Pen, Sarah Foster!
creative writer and blogger, you know her from her blog

Those of you who know Sarah probably also know Jordan, the teenage boy serving as her muse who lives in Sarah's head and occasionally makes appearances on Sarah's blog. Having such a strong relationship with her own, I asked Sarah to share how one finds a muse. Where does one come from? What's that connection like?

As usual, Sarah delivered. Please enjoy her post and then stop by her blog to share stories about how you found your muse.

Most writers have heard of a muse. If you don’t have one, you’ve probably heard or read about other writers struggling with theirs. Your muse can be a source of inspiration to write and figure things out, or it can be the person you blame when the writing isn’t going the way you’d hoped. You can love or hate your muse (or both, usually), but if you have one, then you understand this unique and bizarre relationship.

Most of the time, and we don’t usually like to admit this, a writer’s muse is imaginary. It’s that urge, that voice in your head that gives you ideas and motivates you to write. They don’t actually exist, but it’s much easier to blame someone else when you’re not feeling inspired. But it goes for the good times, as well. How else do you explain the random ideas that pop in your head? Or the sudden ability to bust out pages and pages of words out of nowhere? It always feels like it’s in someone else’s control.

Where exactly do you find your muse? It can be different for every writer. For me, though, it has always been a character from one of my stories. When I’m trying to write from this person’s point of view, it feels like he or she is always with me when I’m writing, telling me what happened to them and how I should write in their voices. It just feels natural to me that way. Other writers may have a completely separate person as their muse, one who isn’t a character in one of their stories. Your muse could be an animal, a fairy, or even an inanimate object. Or you may look at the muse as a more abstract entity, one that isn’t an actual person, but more of a spirit or force of inspiration.

Whether you want a muse or not, they may find you. When I started my current project, I wasn’t looking for a muse. I wasn’t even looking to write a story, but the idea struck me out of nowhere and consumed every second of thought so that it actually bothered me to not be writing. I thought it was my main character trying to fight his way out of my brain. Well, he may have fought his way onto the page, but he never actually left my brain.

I never expected to have a teenage boy for a muse, but Jordan is as real to me as any actual person I know. We brainstorm, we fight, we have random moments of witty banter. I let him take over my blog now and then. And sometimes we actually get around to writing. If I wasn’t a writer, this would probably be very strange. Why do I talk to this imaginary person inside my head? But I spend so much time every day trying to figure him out and write from his point of view, essentially pretending to be him. Why shouldn’t I talk to him? If he doesn’t feel real to me, then he isn’t going to feel real on the page.

If you understand your muse and have a strong connection, you may find that inspiration comes more easily. So embrace your muse! Talk to them, scream at them, bounce ideas off of them. If you get a great idea or pages of writing done, who cares how crazy it seems? I’ve always been a firm believer in listening to your characters, and the same could be said of muses. Treat them like they’re real people with their own thoughts, emotions, and opinions, and your writing will be better off for it.


  1. Thanks for having me on your blog, Adam!

  2. Great post, Sarah! Muses--what would we do without them!?

  3. I completely agree with you! The more real our characters are to us, the more real they will be to the reader. Great post, Sarah! :)

  4. Seconded! It really is the characters that get me writing too. In fact, I had a story I hated for a while there while drafting, but I couldn't abandon it because of the characters.

    1. On the other hand, I can't handle a story filled with characters I don't like. That's a deal breaker!


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