Monday, 30 November 2009

Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes, Don't Let the Muse Break Your Heart

Don't let the Pleiades make you cry - Image of M45 star cluster by NASA, via Wikimedia Commons - public domainI've just run across a really admirable posting from Justine Musk on why being a good Writer does not necessarily help you write. (Hat tip: Emma Bull at Dark Roast.)

This resonates rather strongly with me, since I know I'm at my quickest and best when writing in a total spirit of what-the-hell. Katy Elflocks was written that way, for instance. Killer-Kate is much harder, because the characters have become much more important to me, and I badly need to finish their story right, and in any case the best way to get Katy published will certainly be to complete the whole triptych. The same thing happened years ago - firstly when I loosened a writer's block by discovering fanfiction, and secondly when certain fanfic itself started to become a duty. Yes, it is important to respect one's art and cultivate its craft, but I think Ms Musk has an excellent point about how writing may flourish best around the edges of a life ardently lived; and that as she says -

It deserves to be taken seriously, and yet somehow we have to find a way to treat it lightly, hold it lightly, so it doesn’t slip away from us.

Today's musical offering is brought to you because I couldn't resist the post title, and because there is no such thing as gratuitous k.d. lang. (How many other singers, let alone arch-liberal ones, would have had the sheer playful perversity to respond to the Springtime of the Smoking Warden with an album like Drag? Answers on a postage stamp, please, &c.)


  1. Thanks for the link to the Justine Musk article. It resonates strongly at the moment because I am simultaneously doing the OU's advanced creative writing course and have just finished an attempt at NaNoWriMo.

    By throwing quality to the winds, I have written 25,000 words in the month and I finally dared to take a peep at the opening this morning and it is nowhere near as bad as I'd feared. I think it will edit up quite well. But I'm not even going to think about that now. I have to finish it first. :)

  2. Oh, wow! Conga-rats, Helen, and good luck with the rest of it!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.