Thursday 3 February 2011

Life As We Know It! Wanted: Safe Return of Creative Muse.

Excuse my lack of comical ability this morning, but I am in such a pickle. It seems that I have lost my creative muse. She was last seen in my presence on Tuesday evening at my creative writing class and seemed her usual happy, overactive self, constantly making character assessments of my fellow students for my future reference. Unfortunately she took offence at my creative writing teacher, who informed me that it was very difficult to write humourous pieces and it was highly unlikely that anything I had written would make anyone laugh. With that, my tutor politely declined reading my piece on ‘Bookaholic’s Anonymous’, which I assured her that others had found hilarious. I stood wide eyed and speechless as I watched my muse’s face turn puce and a stream of profanities explode from her mouth, which alas only I could hear. Feeling rather abused by my tutor, she fired pencil sharpenings at her face and then vanished in a puff of exclamation marks.

On arrival home, I burst into tears at the loss of my new found friend. I felt irresponsible at losing her, especially as she had only arrived at my house at Christmas. She had entered my house hidden in one of those fairy notebooks with a fluffy pink pen that makes you sneeze every time you touch your nose with it. I hadn’t realised she was there until she popped out of the pages extremely early one morning as I wrote my morning journals.

I found she was a much better replacement to my previous muse who had spent weeks teaching me the art of procrastination, which I can now say I am an expert at. My new muse is more of a task master and very nocturnal, thinking nothing of nudging me in the middle of the night and flitting in and out of my brain with ideas and lists, which result in my submission and I find myself drearily writing away in my notebook, bleary eyed and desperate to be allowed to go back to sleep.

She has a habit of rendering me speechless when I attempt a conversation with someone who doesn’t include ‘books, reading and writing’ in their daily vocabulary. If the conversation is of no interest to her, she will constantly buzz around in front of my eyes, causing me to become distracted and lose the whole gist of the conversation.

She is at her happiest when I am sitting at my keyboard, pounding away at the keys like a secretary on speed. She doesn’t allow me to snack too often as she knows my food gremlins always attract the attention of an afternoon nap.

She does give me some time out. As long as she is happy that I have written my daily quota she will leave me in peace with some essential reading material. She absolutely adores Twitter as it gives her a chance to chat with other creative muses sitting on the shoulders of established authors.

Since she has left me I find that I am struggling to string a sentence together, let alone write a novel. So I am begging you to help me find her. I know she is sitting somewhere in cyberspace waiting for an apology. You cannot miss her, she looks like Rambo Barbie, all in pink and armed with various writing weapons.

In her absence my husband has encouraged me to try and tease my cleaning fairy out of the airing cupboard, where she has been hidden with a pile of odd socks and a darning needle since the arrival of my creative muse. So I am now off to entice her out of the cupboard with Mr Muscle (furniture polish) and a Jay cloth. Hopefully I can come to some arrangement with her to learn to work alongside my creative muse when she returns.


  1. I am sorry to hear about your creative writing teacher. Her comment is asinine, and if she truly felt that way, she should have "backed it up" by checking out your blog and then giving constructive criticism.

    At least it's a good time to toughen your skin and teach yourself to say "so what".

    Finally, remember, mean people suck!


  2. I don't think your muse has gone into hiding at all - not by judging that post!

    She'll regret her comments when you're a bestseller and she's still a creative writing teacher :)

  3. Lol, you still crack me up. Are you sure you muse isn't just hiding in your ear, scared of coming out, but still whispering to you

  4. Sounds like she was a real ass! Didn't even read your stuff and still passed judgement on it? Ugh. No point of going to THAT class anymore, I guess. :( I hope your muse comes back. It sucks when you lose your muse.

  5. I'm with verity on this and think you should hand your so-called teacher the cleaning gear and get on with some more of your hilarious posts.

  6. Are you serious? That "tutor" is ridiculous! Of course it's difficult to write humorous pieces, but you're certainly up to the task--you've proven that--and why she didn't read your piece is beyond me (maybe she
    was just having a grouchy day?). I am sorry you went through this, Vivienne. Stay assured of your talent and determination, and your muse will come out of hiding.

  7. I'm with everyone else here - how can she judge it without even reading it? I hope the writing muse comes back to stay soon.

  8. I'm pretty sure your muse is alive and well judging by this post. I can't tell you the number of times you've cracked me up.

  9. I think the life of a writer is filled with lots of rejection, so better get used to it now? <<That's horrible advice, but I've heard other people say it :( I'm with the others, your creative writing teachers sounds like such an ass. Why wouldn't she read what you've written? Isn't that her sole PURPOSE as a creative writing teacher? :( I did love this post though, especially the image of your muse as a Rambo Barbie. Love it, you've definitely still got it :)

  10. Personally I think you are now 3 for 3 and I can hardly wait for more. Print off these comments - wrap them up in a bow - and show that tutor she knows nothing about YOUR writing talent!

  11. Thankyou everyone for your kind words. You have all made me feel so much better. I know I need to toughen up and take rejection, it just bugged me that she rejected me without even taking a look. However, I am sure that in the future when I eventually send my manuscript off, there will be many people who won't even look it. Off for a large slice of cake now!

  12. Vivienne--I'm absolutely loving these posts. I agree with Molly--shove them back in your tutor's face with a big "So There!"

    I hope your muse comes back soon! But don't let your tutor get you down--just keep on writing and writing and I think your Rambo Barbie friend will come out of hiding. ;)

  13. What?! Didn't read what you wrote and passed judgement? I don't think so!

    Our creative muses can be very sensitive and one unkind word can send them into hiding but those muses always come back. Really they do! Just look at you writing here on your blog, your scrapbooking, your baking, it's all a creative life.

    If you are up for reading a book that will certainly fire up your creativity I highly recommend Living Out Loud by Keri Smith. Has done wonders for me when I feel I'm all done with the creative life.

    Oh and you've got cake? Well, see, everything is always better with cake :)

  14. Excuse my profanities on your blog but what a b*tch!

    A creative writing tutor is not supposed to tell you that it's rare your writing is going to make people laugh and refuse to read it out. A tutor is supposed to channel your strengths and offer *constructive* criticism. Who does she think she is? Clearly we know what happened there - a writer who's been rejected one too many times herself.

    Ergh. Seriously, Viv, I studied this for three years and came to know that there are two kinds of creative writing tutors - there are those who believe writing needs to follow a specific set of 'rules' in order to be considered 'well-written' and then there are the tutors who'll find the strength in even the most horrific writing (which yours ISN'T) and do everything they can to pull it out of you.

    I showed a piece of my writing to two tutors one year - one of each category. The stiff 'I follow all the rules and no-one likes me' hated it and said "Characters who are outsiders will never entertain anyone." (What had *he* been reading??) The open-minded tutor took what I'd read and said I had a certain Lewis Carroll feel to my writing - a kind of Wonderland-surrealism.

    That's what your tutor should be doing.

    Oh my gosh, was that too much of a rant? Hahahaha.

    Sorry, Viv. I just love your writing and that tutor was uncalled for. That's not how you teach.

  15. Ok, Im sorry but your creative writing teacher is a nitwit.
    Your muse is alive and well :)

  16. Poor Viv! What a tacky teacher and how in the world can you judge without reading it first. Does that creative writing teacher even want to be teaching?? Keep it up--you have all of us following you and laughing it up!
    *smiles and chuckles*

  17. I gotta say I disagree with your writing teacher. Your posts are always amusing and well thought out. You definitely haven't lost the creative muse at all. Cleaning will always be there - don't let it take over your life. Loved this post!!

  18. I concur with everyone here. Clearly your teacher is not quite sure what she is talking about. We'll see who has the final laugh.


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