Do you listen to your muse or do you shoot Her down at every chance. When that stray thought floats through your mind about a heroine with a big shaggy dog that makes the hero sneeze. Then your mind wonders if this were a Regency and your heroine were in a marriage of convenience, what if she used the dog as her line of defense. If she couldn’t have the beast with her, she would make sure to get dog hair on her outfit before going anywhere with him.
But then some cold, calm, logical voice says, “Oh that won’t sell. It’s ridiculous. Besides, you don’t have time to research a Regency. Stick to what you know.”
And you let that thought drift on out of your mind never to be heard from again. Then next year you pick up a book where the heroine has this big shaggy dog…. Well, you catch my drift, I’m sure.
You have failed to honor your muse. At the very least write the idea down. Play with it a bit. Maybe it won’t work for you. Perhaps it is the stupidest idea since Freedom Fries, but what if it wasn’t? What if it was a gift that you scorned?
Place yourself in the Muse’s shoes (strappy high heels or sporty slings). If your job, your calling, your gift was to dance about in other people’s imagination and offer them tidbits, how would you feel if one person constantly spurned you? How much would it take for you to keep going back to that person with ideas and thoughts and even full blown plot lines?
I know me and it wouldn’t take long before I would leave them to their own well of creativity. And when that well ran dry? It would take quite a bit of coaxing to bring me back to their side. Rejection isn’t easy even if you ARE a daughter of the Gods and have sisters to lean on.
So keep a notebook handy or a small tape recorder by your side. Jot down those thoughts. Listen to your mind when you are reading the newspaper or watching television. Don’t ignore the opportunities to fill your Future Stories Folder to the brim. When you are stuck on your wip, then dip into that folder. Pull one out. Let your pen wander over a clean sheet of paper.
And don’t forget to thank your Muse when you return to your wip with a fresh outlook and a few new plot twists.