This post was inspired by a funky sort of cosmic pile-up in which I had several experiences over the past couple days all involving Muses visiting people in the shower. Yes, writers are insane—more on that later.
First, Christine Bell and I were discussing on Twitter how we get ideas during the most inopportune times. How can we write down our (assuredly brilliant) thoughts while driving (Christine) or in the shower (me)? The next day, she tells me about these waterproof notepads. On Sunday, my critique partner, Margeanne Mitchell, wondered on Twitter if she should remodel her shower to make room for these imaginary visitors. And on Monday, my friend, Roni Loren, asked in a blog post: Why Is My Muse Hiding in the Shower?
See? Cosmic weirdness. And all this tells me that I’m not the only one with a pervy Muse.
As Roni talks about in her blog, we get our ideas when our logical mind is relaxed and the creative part of our brain can take over. Our Muse visits us when we’re on autopilot:
[In] the shower, a monotonous car ride, lying in bed at night before [going] to sleep, listening to music.
And she’s absolutely right. I’ve gotten ideas during all of those activities. While normal people might plan their day during a shower, writers are planning how their antagonist can commit the perfect murder. It’s true. Writers are insane and I’ve got a blog post to prove it.
During my showers, new story ideas or scenes will play out in my head, or sometimes—when I’m really feeling the Muse—I’ll have conversations with my characters, just for the heck of it. It’s a great way to learn more about my characters’ motivations and goals.
I have one character who thinks he’s a ladies’ man. So it’s no surprise that this perv visits me in the shower. Lucky for me, he’s usually just complaining about how many lines he’s getting (or not getting) or how I need to expand his character arc because he’s worried that my portrayal is making him look bad (apparently, my characters think they’re in a reality TV show and I’m the director choosing which footage to include). In other words, he’s quite the diva.
But I learned more about his character than I would any other way. I need my Muse to visit me—yes, even in the shower. I need to get that inspiration I wouldn’t get from my logical brain. So I just ignore the perviness of the situation and *ahem* imagine that my Muse is male.
Where do you get your best ideas? Do you need to get some of those AquaNotes like I do? Do you stick with logic and credit your creative brain for your ideas? Or do you credit your Muse and imagine them to be a person/entity (or is that just me)?