Sometimes I sprint when I write.
I emphasize “sometimes.”
My sprints look something like this: I’m puttering along, minding my own business, scribbling ideas, nit-noiding over word choices, plot ideas, whatever for manuscript X when suddenly, in walks the muse.
My muse and I have a … Well, I don’t know what we have, exactly. It’s a relationship in that we’re together. Sometimes. And in the wild romp of the moment, it’s one hell of a rush – words fly from my fingertips, the keyboard clicks away and when I finally come to my senses, 3-4 weeks have passed and a 350 page rough draft is staring at me. It takes another 3-4 weeks to come down from that, and I feel like crap. Like I’ve been used for a good time and then tossed out for someone a less worn out, but I’m still buzzing from the adrenaline, the heady excitement, the POSSIBILITIES.
This being said, Muse is a bitch. She never returns my calls. If I’m lucky, she’ll send me a cryptic text or a bizarre email that I’m supposed to do SOMETHING with, but I don’t know what. Occasionally she’ll show for a one-night stand and the solutions for that gaping plot hole in the middle of chapter 17 just come in the middle of the night. I don’t even have a schedule for Muse. 2 years ago she showed up in July. This last time it was October. But she sure as hell doesn’t call ahead “Hey! I’m in town this weekend. Wanna hang out?”
Nope. None of that. She just barges in and takes over, leaving me with a messy desk, smelling of questionable ideas, half articulate notes and a list a mile long of things that have to be done in order to make the manuscript she foisted off on me to look like something vaguely respectable.
The mosey is what happens after she leaves. I clean up after her. I rifle through the pages, cringe at the phrasing, giggle at the visuals she’s painted for me, and then sit to do the hard part.
Daily. A little bit everyday. Some days I can bust through an entire chapter. Windfall days I can slam out 2. Others … Well …
I got through a quarter of one chapter today.
It isn’t that I don’t like the story. I do, a great deal. It’s just … I dunno. It’s not the manuscript.
I have yet to be able to “mosey” my way through a manuscript from conception to finish. I would love to be able to do that. I tell myself I can do that. “You just need to tell the bitch ‘no,’ and move on with your life. Slow and steady is better than hot and fast.”
Yeah. I wonder how many times that’s worked for anyone? I mean, she shows up at your door, hot and ready to rock …
YOU try saying “no.”
So I mosey through the manuscripts I’m responsible for, all these little twerps that the Muse has dropped in my lap, with hints that there will be more. “You just wait, honey. I promise I won’t make you wait so long before I visit again.”
I have notes for the various series’ I’ve started. 7 books for a fantasy series, 3+ for a steampunk, 4-5 for a contemporary romance line. Love letters, all of them. Breathy promises, some a hundred pages long or more, others little more than a few hastily scrawled words. “See how much I love you?” Or even a kinky “We should try this, next time,” complete with graphic details.
But I continue to mosey.
Because if I don’t, I’m in lousy shape when the Muse shows up and I have to sprint again.