The Muse Balks

the musePreviously on Betsy’s Blog…

Betsy has set out on her Quest to become an indie author with the help of her Guide, Harry.  Although in mythology, Guides for a Quest have traditionally been a white stag or rabbit, Harry is a white gerbil.  Well, that’s just the way things go sometimes.

Thus far, Harry has proven himself to be quite helpful, not only in assisting Betsy to identify the objective of her Quest, but in pulling her out of the sugar-induced stupor she fell into after suffering a personal loss.  And it was in the dark caverns of Betsy’s temporal lobe that she and Harry encountered a mysterious and threatening Voice.  The Voice says it has been with Betsy all of her life, that it nudges her, encourages her to take inappropriate actions with inappropriate foods.  Betsy and Harry chased the Voice away, but are left to wonder if it will be back.  Will it be even more powerful next time?  Will Betsy be able to withstand its song?

But those are questions for another day.  Now it is well past time for Betsy to buckle down and start churning out the words.  She has a schedule to meet!  How sad that her Muse does not work well under pressure and is starting to get obstreperous. (<–look!  big word!)

Let’s join Betsy now in the spacious, well-appointed family room of her brain while she meets with her Muse and tries to figure out how to get this train moving along.  Just a little girl talk between friends.  Or something.


Hello, Muse.

Yeah.  Hi.

*Betsy clears throat uncomfortably* *looks briefly at Muse sitting on sofa, then around the family room of her brain*  Wow.  Um.  Harry really spruced up the place.

Yeah. *Muse shrugs* *curls deeper into sofa* It’s okay.  We have cable now.  And organizers from Ikea.

Great!  Great.  *Betsy takes a few steps forward*  So, um, do you mind if I sit down?

Go ahead.  It’s your brain.

Right.  *Betsy perches on the sofa on the opposite end from the Muse*  *Fiddles with her gray matter*  So, um, I guess you’re wondering why I called this meeting.

*Muse continues to watch “Honey Boo Boo” on the flat screen*  It’s probably because of the whole writing thing.

Of course it’s because of the whole writing thing!  It’s just, well, you’re not always there when I sit down to, you know, write.

*Muse jerks a shoulder*  Whatevs.


Hey, suddenly you want to be on a schedule and I’m supposed to just bippity-boppity-boo be there?  *Muse snaps fingers* Suddenly this little white gerbil Quest Guide is prancing all around calling the shots and he wants production?  Maybe I’m not caring about production or your little schedule. *makes air quotes*  Maybe I just want to watch this obnoxious kid on television.

*Betsy stares*  You really want to watch this?

*Muse shakes it off*  Okay, okay.  Not really.  I can’t stand the show.  But I don’t want to perform on a schedule either.  I’m not a…a… damn circus elephant or something.

Oh, Muse.  *Betsy settles back with a sigh*  I’m not asking you to perform on a schedule.  I just need to have some kind of organization.  Like those Ikea shelves.

I thought we had a good arrangement before.  *Muse looks at Betsy directly for the first time* You know, on-again, off-again.  When we were on-again, I’d show up when I wanted and you’d write and if you weren’t in a place where you could write, I’d just talk anyway and you’d go crazy trying to remember what I said.

Yeah.  *Betsy frowns*  You still do that.

And when we were off-again, you’d forget about me and I’d go shopping.  I’d have my days free, you know?  It wasn’t full time.  But now you expect me to be in your head at a certain time every day and that’s just so not me.  I don’t do restrictions.


I’ve gotta be free, you know?  Free to fly like an eagle.  Free to be you and me!  Free, free, free!  *Muse flaps arms*

Muse. *Betsy inches closer*  I want you to be free.  I want you to be able to dance and sing and play.

Ooooo play!  I like play!  *Muse claps hands*

I know.  I want you to be able to play and flow.  I don’t want you to be all bottled up until you’re knocking on the inside of my head driving me crazy because I haven’t been listening to you for weeks or months.

Or years.  *Muse scowls and crosses her arms*  Sometimes it’s been years.

I know.  *Betsy pats Muse’s shoulder*  And I’m sorry.

Well, that’s great but what the heck does a schedule have to do with anything?

See, if I’m going to be an indie author, then I need to write a lot of stuff and get it out there.  I have to be consistent.  I have to be organized.  And I have to hit a schedule.  So, when I need to write, I need to trust that you’re going to show up and talk to me.  Because if you don’t talk to me, Muse, well, I can’t do this.  I need you.

Hmmph.  *Muse looks unimpressed*  What’s in it for me?

Well…. *Betsy thinks quickly*  If you start coming around regularly, all of my creative juice is really going to start flowing.

*Muse sits up straighter*  More juice?

Yeah.  If I can get where I’m writing consistently every day, well, that juice is going to blow you right out of the water.

Hmmm.  *Muse looks thoughtful*  I really like juice.

I know you do.  *Betsy covers Muse’s hand with her own*  We can do this.  If you agree to show up every day when I’m sitting down to write.  Will you?

Welllll….*Muse considers*  I’ll have a lot less free time.

But lots of juice.

*Muse considers some more*  And you won’t be mad at me if I show up and you still don’t hit your production schedule?

No.  All you have to do is inspire me,

*Muse watches her* And you promise you’ll keep showing up?


*Muse thinks for several long moments*  *Nods slowly*  Okay.  As long as you show up, I’ll show up too.

That’s great!  Thank you.  *Betsy grins*  Let’s go squeeze us some juice.

After the show.


To be continued…


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