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.

Something else I see and hear in various circles of writers and have even read in a couple of writing books disturbs me just as much. The idea that when the writing flows it’s a sign of bad writing! These people will actually go as far as to scrap any work they get done that came to them easily. Come on, people. Sometimes the writing flows and sometimes it doesn’t. Neither one is an indicator of good or bad writing! It’s like life. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t. In fact, it’s better to get as much material as possible and then decide what is good or bad in the editing process, not while you’re writing!

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.

Thanks Robert,  it was a pleasure having you over.  
Coming soon An Interview  with Robert, in the meantime why not get yourself a copy of his new book, clickity click the link below 
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6 thoughts on “A GUEST POST BY ROBERT S. WILSON: MURDER YOUR MUSE

  1. Amen to that. I always find that my best works come to me with little effort. And anything that I force usually ends up unfinished or sucking . If I did have a muse I'd probably have to get that steamroller out on her bitchass just because that ho is lazy lol.

  2. I've met Robert through Facebook. Nice to hear a little more from him here. I don't ever claim to have a muse. I like to think of it in Campbell and/or Jung's terms of a collective unconscious, and some days I'm able to tap into my part of it a little easier than others.I have never heard of a writer saying that when it's really flowing, it's bad writing. That sounds like crazy talk to me. Good post.Paul D. Dailwww.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  3. Paul, glad you enjoyed the post. Back when I focused most of my creative energy on writing music I believed in something like a collective unconsciousness. But over the years I've learned a lot about the brain and subconsciousness and I've found it's a lot more powerful and capable of creating than people give it credit for. Really, to each their own what they believe or don't believe. It really comes down to taking the nonsense out of writing. What works for some doesn't work for others. But just quitting for the day because it's hard would be like the star player of a basketball team refusing to shoot a free throw that could win the game because he doesn't like the pressure.And yes, I agree, the concept of writing flowing easy churning out bad work is definitely crazy talk. Maybe that's true for someone out there. But it's hardly universal or anything you should tell other people about themselves.Thanks for the reply Paul!

  4. Agreed on your basketball analogy. I had Nancy Holder as an instructor at the Maui Writer's Retreat several years ago, and one thing I always remembered was her saying basically, "Schedule time for writing, plant your butt in front of the computer and don't get up until your time is done."One thing I would add along those lines that I've heard is that it's good advice to not go PAST that schedule either, even if things are really flowing, because then you will write yourself out of ideas. Better to stop at the end of the schedule, jot down a few notes and still have ideas to come back to the next day. Paul D. Dailwww.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  5. Paul, that's interesting. I actually find that, for me, sticking with the flow and getting those ideas out allows me to get fresh ideas out in my next session. But really it all comes down to this: find how YOU are most productive and then make your schedule or whatever around that and stick to it. I have to say though, I feel like the drunken priest who scorns the congregation. Since I finished editing and polishing my novel, I've been way off track. So, I guess here's a call to me to get back on schedule!

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