03 May 2011

Continuous Education, Your Muse, and A Double-Edged Sword

Continuous education is a good thing.

You and your Muse can't wait to use your newly gained insights from three different craft books. Plot. Character. Structure. Not separate entities, but aspects that feed each other to spin off into new and exciting ways.

You both think about the current story, a behemoth revision you've been working on for what seems like forever, and you both realize it could use some help from the writing craft books you've just read. Then the other first draft stories waiting in the depths of your hard drive suddenly beg for attention and fixes too.

Writing progress halts as you try to plan what to do next ... Finish the current revision with it's flaws or start the revision again? Work that first story that grabbed everyone's attention? Develop that completely new story idea bouncing around in your head?

You don't know where to turn first. Your Muse doesn't care so much so long as she gets working, she's tired of just sitting around.

When you realize the plan you've been working to these past few months just crumbled to dust, your  excitement wains.

In a flash of lightning, you realize that continuous education is really a double-edged sword: a dangerous tool only to be handled when all working drafts are complete and query letters are sitting in  agents' computers.

With the vow fresh on your lips to not touch another writing craft book for a very, very, very long time, you sit at your desk and begin your writing journey anew, wishing that your Muse will still have all her great ideas at hand.

When you glance in your Muse's direction ready to work again, fear and hope wash over you. You glimpse her holding a new toy. Seems she likes the sword analogy and clip-art a little too much.

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