where the writers are
Kill Me...Kill Me Now...
The Venerable Muse...

Reprinted from earlier...

KILL ME – KILL ME, NOW – The Life of a Writer (or How to Resuscitate the Artist) by Minnette Meador

Interestingly enough, it's not the sex I miss, the sound of the voice of another human being, the mind-numbing chatter of America's favorite past time, or even the time I used to have to myself (who is this myself anyway?). What I miss the most -- is silence; that exquisite delight for just one moment, one precious second in time where your mind just shuts the f*** up and leaves you alone. It's not thinking about plots, characters, blogging, email, websites, networking, editing, reviewing, your next novel, your next review, or your editor's next tirade (not that mine has any, but that's what I heard – ~I'll send chocolates tomorrow, sweetheart~). That's all you'll ever ask for -- just a moment of peace. But, my friend, don't hold your breath! If you are dedicated to this life choice (and believe me, it is a life choice), then expect sixteen to twenty hour days, blinding headaches from the glare of your computer screen, rejection letters/emails, disappointment, and really, really upset relatives (of course, it's amazing how much they settle down when you actually publish something). You will also experience the most exquisite ecstasy you can have without your heart exploding; the first sentence you absolutely know is PERFECT. Ahhhhh....

These are the journals of what it truly means to be a writer and it is not for the faint of heart...if you scare easy, you might want to turn away now.

Introduction: I am not an expert – I'm not a psychiatrist, a doctor, a priest or a nun, an editor, a publisher, a hooker or any other kind of professional. The only credentials I have is a little experience – so consider this the "novice's" point of view (oh, mah gawd! POV – somebody kill me). I'm certain it will change from day to day and even minute to minute. Just the ramblings of someone who has worked non-stop on a 300,000 word, two volume fantasy for the last year and decided to spread the torture around a little. Please take this for what it is – ALL IN FUN. But, if something of this touches you a bit, makes you feel like you are not alone out there (although, you --- are), and maybe tickles you some, please read on.

Phase I: The Decision (or What Am I Doing? Am I insane?)

I think I started my career as a writer by reading – How many of you out there devour books (or did before you started writing)? Did you read anything you could get your hands on? Romance? Fantasy? Sci-Fi? Mainstream? Cereal boxes? Stereo instructions? Billboards? Then you probably understand about this particular addiction – if you don't think you're addicted, get a clue. When was the last time you read the back of the toothpaste tube? This is how that little voice gets into your head to begin with – other writers. At some point in your reading life you suddenly say to yourself, "I can do this! This is so simple – any fool can write a book!" That's when it happens – that's when she sneaks into your life – that's when she takes her black leather clad body and wraps it around your brain, implants her 8" high heels into your soul and extends her long, vicious whip. That voice has a name, too. She's called The Muse:

Phase II: The Muse (or How to Use Cosmetics to Cover Those Unsightly Whip Marks)

Now that you are out of the reading phase and into the writing phase, you have a new friend...

Don't you?

She's a real cast iron, ball busting you know what, isn't she?

When I first starting hitting the writing full time, I had this little creature standing on my shoulder, shouting, "More! More!! I want more! Gimme, gimme, gimme! Come...on...you can do it! More!" A crack dealer is a nun compared to this little pusher. I couldn't get enough...I'd write on the bus...I'd write in the car (hard to do when you're driving)...I'd write in the grocery store...I'd even write in the bathroom (toilet paper is not paper, by the way).

It was when I started writing 40-80 hours a week that I began to notice a slight change in my behavior (of course, this was on top of the 40-50 hours I was putting into my "real" job). When I spoke (which was seldom anymore) my voice was kind of high pitched and shaky. The entire world seemed a bit distorted to me, as if it wasn't quite real, and for some reason the guilty pleasure of being creative for that many hours began to feel...well, kind of sexy. It was like being on some wonderful drug. The problem was, my poor husband, who of course had to live with me, was getting a little worried. It's hard to watch as your wife begins to twitch at you and only talk about her novel – even harder when you're not entirely certain if she's talking to you! What? What? Shut up, I wasn't talking to you... I'm sorry, honey, you were saying...

I don't know about your muse, but mine was 6" tall (shoeless), completely leather clad, from her 8" stiletto heels to the top of her spiky lopsided head and had a bull whip just long enough to go around my throat. Her teeth – well, let's just say the edge of my ear got pretty ragged after a while. She loved to sit on my shoulder, play with my earring, and either scream bloody murder at me, or sit on her ass to do her nails. Those nails really hurt, too (especially in the middle of the night), and the whip marks were leaving stains on my blouse. I realized one of us just had to settle down – and guess what, it wasn't her.

Phase III: Taming the Monster (or Down, Bad Monkey, Down!)

TO BE CONTINUED....