I Am My Own Muse

How’s that for a pretentious title? But aren’t all writers, really, their own muses? It’s sort of in how you talk about it. Some personify, and talk about their “muse” as if it’s something/someone outside of them. Others, like me, feel the “muse” is internal, ideas cooked up by the subconscious.

When I think about writing and inspiration, I go around and around in my opinions. (It’s one thing on which every writer has an opinion, or opinions. Just ask us. Better yet, ask a herd of us all at once.)

I can’t personify my urge to write and my inspirations. I know it’s one way to feel you control those elements of writing, because if you can describe something, it’s there. You can do things with it. You can “tell your muse to behave.” All of these techniques are no doubt helpful at one time or another in the writing process.

At the same time, personifying means giving up control: my muse is not me. If my muse is not cooperating, it’s not my fault. That can be good or bad. Sometimes, giving up control helps summon new depths to writing. Sometimes, you end up with confusing slop.

I’d rather, for the most part, have an element of control over my creative impulses. If I give in and write with little thought, I always, later, go over it with a critical eye. Maybe I’m just a control freak.

What about you?

Published by Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s writing showcases her voracious lifelong love of books. She reads over 120 new books each year, especially historical romance, fantasy, and space opera, and incorporates these genres into her erotic fiction. Her first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. When not writing, Victoria conducts research in libraries and graveyards, lectures about writing and selling erotica, and speaks at literary conventions on topics such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotic science fiction/fantasy, and the empowerment of women through unconventional means. Her daily writing blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and author interviews. She also guest blogs for Heroes & Heartbreakers and The Criminal Element. She lives in Philadelphia.

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