A GUEST POST BY ROBERT S. WILSON: MURDER YOUR MUSE
Today folks, The Ginger Nuts would like to welcome Robert S. Wilson. Today Robert is going to do a guest post.
Robert S. Wilson is the author of Shining in Crimson, the first novel in his dystopian vampire series Empire of Blood in which his vampires aren’t affected by religious relics, don’t become romantically involved with humans, and neither do they sparkle. He lives with his wife, kids, dog, and a rehabilitated evil cat in Tennessee.
Check out his blog at http://shiningincrimson.blogspot.com/ where you can listen to audio episodes of Shining in Crimson, compete in pop quizzes, or just read his ridiculously redundant ranting.
Just for the sake of deniability for my kind host, the following opinions, beliefs, and lack thereof are strictly those of the author and not necessarily agreed upon by Ginger Nuts of Horror.
With that said, I will start by stating the fact that I am a hard-nosed skeptic. I haven’t been all my life, but since I came to this state of mind, I have a very rigid point of view when it comes to the supernatural. Even though I’ve written about vampires, aliens, ghosts, dragons, fairies, demons, storms that kill people on purpose, and so forth, I do not believe that a single one of these things exist.
So, when I hear writers, be they horror or any other genre, go on about their muse, I get especially amused. (No pun intended.) The idea of each writer having a sort of fairy with sparkly wings that puffs out of the ether, pulls out her long star-tipped wand, and sprinkles story dust over their head and the ideas just flow makes the skeptic in me grin with mischief. Obviously, most people don’t really believe this and a lot of people only refer to their muse metaphorically. But that idea, for a lot of people, is still not far off from what they actually believe; when they write good stuff it’s simply magic.
Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t felt that way too at times. But being versed in some degree of understanding of science and the way the world works, I analyze that feeling and see it for what it really is: sleight of hand of the writer’s subconsciousness. Human beings are creative. Even when we’re not consciously trying. Just look at dreams. Your brain is constantly making connections for you every time you look at anything that resembles a pattern and even things that don’t.
But there’s another thing that people often take for granted that I think is an equally big aspect in what really creates the “magic of the muse.” It’s called good-old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness hard work. And even though it doesn’t always seem like it, taking the time to really think about your story before writing can be hard work. And what do people say about hard work? It pays off, right? It really does. And I think oftentimes people mistake how easily their work flows for magic when really all the magic came from a good deal of their own hard work.
Now, I’d like to talk about the other side of the coin: responsibility. Because, writers tell themselves, their muse just isn’t here today, it’s time to quit for the day. Or, “My muse only gave me x amount of words and then split,” etc. These days whenever I see someone say this on a Facebook post or comment, at a writer’s meeting, etc., even if I don’t know them, I have to speak up.
I say something to the effect of, “Murder your muse, she’s really just a pretentious bitch anyway. She’ll only hold you back. Then, you can decide how many words you want to write. You will have all the power. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility.”
Sometimes, you just have to STICK IT OUT AND WRITE. Even if the writing doesn’t flow. Simple as that.
So, there it is. Go out and murder your muse. Make it bloody, do it humanely, strangle her, saw her in half, or run her over with a goddamn steamroller. Frankly, I don’t give a fuck how you do it, just kill the bitch. She’s keeping some of you from taking responsibility for yourselves and for that she deserves to die.