Monday, June 28, 2010

7 Things That aMUSE Me - Aside from my muse

I'm reluctant to give up Jason Statham as my muse avatar this morning. While he wasn't as productive as Brad Pitt after I gave him that shake-up letter - I wrote something like 65 pages that week, and ironed out a major plot hole - Jason executed some impressive martial arts moves on my adverbs and "was" words. As a bonus, he helped me figure out that my protagonist needs a change in attitude.

Not bad for a week's worth of work.

But it's Monday - and I'd hate to disappoint Suzanne, er, my blogger buddies.

And you know what they say: If you want something done, give it to a busy person. I figure with Eclipse launching this Wednesday, Kellan Lutz will have *just" enough time to squeeze in some muse avatar duty.

Don't recognize him from the Twilight saga? Google him - there's apparently a lot of Kellan we don't see in the movies... Thank goodness for muse avatar Monday, no?

Just one of the many reasons I love my profession.

In fact, blogger buddy Jan Markley tagged me with a "Seven Things I Love About Being a Writer" award. The rules, as you can imagine, are fairly simple. Jan's list is quite clever, - funny and quirky, a bit tongue-n-cheek.

If that's what you're looking for, check out her blog :-)

My list goes a little like this:

1. The power of words. The old cliche suggests the pen is mightier than the sword, and I'd tend to agree. I've been pierced by the written word far more than traditional weaponry (well, there was that one time...). Just this weekend I read a blog that affected me. And days later, there's still a little pit of sadness embedded in my chest for the pain felt by someone I once cared for deeply. While she isn't a writer of fiction, I've always said she could write - and her blog this weekend opened wounds I'd desperately been working to heal for nine months. Does my work evoke such powerful emotion? I certainly hope so. The ability to make someone laugh, cry, scream with rage, or cower in (brief) fear through fiction is one of the great things about being a writer.

2. Donning the mask. Very few professions allow you to live vicariously through someone else. A few of my characters have pieces of me in them, but most of them, to be honest, are people I'd love to be, doing awesome things I don't have the guts to do, in places I would love to visit. When I am immersed in writing, I get to LIVE these characters' lives. How cool is that?

3. Friends. Blogger buddies, writerly friends I've met through various conferences, mentors who've steered me toward a publishing path, a critique partner who rocks my world - the writing community offers a safe, encouraging support network like no other. I am very lucky.

4. Muse avatars. Nuff said?

5. Diet Coke. Over the years, people have *tried* to tell me that I don't NEED Diet Coke (or Coke Zero) to pump out perfect prose. They are all wrong. Oh yeah, I've heard all of the statistics about aspartame, I understand that water would be healthier, but the first short story I wrote was fueled by Diet Coke - many, many, MANY years ago. My family might not appreciate the sentiment, but I love that for me, writing and Diet Coke go hand-in-hand. (And yes, sometimes I add whiskey...)

6. Therapy. Let's face it, life is rough sometimes. Writing provides a healthy outlet for pent-up frustration or anger, or happiness, or pretty much any emotion. Whether its in a diary, a blog, an article or a piece of fiction, writing provides escape from life. And sometimes we all need that.

7. Life-long learning. Steve Berry often says: No one ever got better by being told they're a great writer. This is the mantra that allows me to filter constructive feedback. It's also the reason I continue to study the craft of writing. I am happiest when reading other people's work because I learn SO much. And while I sometimes get hung up on the technical side of writing, I love watching my continuous studying morph into something quite magical on the page - even if it's only me that thinks so.

At Thrillerfest two years ago, Sandra Brown says she never forgets that writing is a privilege. I consider myself pretty lucky to be able to do something I love every day.

As tags like this go, I'm supposed to pass it on to four bloggers. Check out these four blogs...

Watery Tart

But really, I'd love to hear from ALL of the writers out there. What do you love about writing?

The Book In My Bag Today: The Summoning, Kelley Armstrong


  1. Awesome list! Especially 1, 3, & 7. I hear ya about #5, don't get my sister started about aspartame ... :-j

  2. Great love list and very 'true'. I'm defintely, definetly googling him:)

  3. Good day my wife.. This was a very well written blog i love to read this as soon as i awoke. I didn't like the picture of Kellan Lutz only because his body is just a tiny bit sexier then mine LOL have a great day babe this has been fun

  4. CQG - Thanks! And yeah, he's definitely worth the google.

    Handsome husband - me thinks you should stay home more often. You're SO sweet. No one is sexier than you. Love you. xo

  5. Those are great reasons! I love my blog buds fo sho!

  6. great list, dawn!
    oi. now i'm going to have to do some head scratching to come up with a list of my own!
    thanks for the tag!

  7. Candy - muah!

    Thanks Mi. And you're welcome. xo

  8. I totally agree with all of the above! Except my writer's drink of weekness has become virgin salted caesers. It just satisfies all cravings and makes me feel like one of those crazy drinker writers while still keeping my wits about me. ;)

  9. Love your reasons and I feel the same way about coffee as you do Diet Coke. Thanks for the tag - this should be fun!

  10. Donna - I love "makes me feel like one of those crazy drinker writers while still keeping my wits about me." <3

    Glad to hear it, Vicki.

    Jaydee - coffee is definitely my morning vice...and then it's on to Diet Coke for sure.

  11. Yum ... Jason Statham ... Hmmmmmm ..., oh! Er, what do I like about writing? Escaping life! :o)

  12. Literature as mask. Neat concept. Oscar Wilde said, "Give a man and he will tell you the truth."

    My inspiration muse is Cate Blanchett or Angelina Jolie -- depending whether I'm feeling cerebral or earthy. Roland

  13. Jessica - I totally agree about the escaping life part. This past year, in particular :0)

    Roland - Angelina Jolie has even been MY muse avatar. Great choices! Thanks for stopping in.

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  15. Great list. I always tell people writing is a form of therapy for me. In total agreement on that one. :)

  16. Megan - and so much less expensive than a therapist!

  17. Thank you for not disappointing me. LOL! I love this Monday's delicious looking muse avatar. Nice work!

    What do I love about writing? Impacting people through story.

  18. Suzanne - so glad you approve :-) And yes, you DO have the ability to impact people through story.