My Muse likes it wet.
I’m not sure why. I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s some sort of water spirit. Maybe an Undine.
I’ve mentioned before how a Muse won’t adhere to your schedule. They’ll show up when you’re damn good and ready, and woe be to you if you’re not ready to write when they show up. While this might seem unfair, remember that your Muse is already doing you a service. She’s providing you with inspiration and all she gets in return is the nourishment of your creative energy, which sustains her life force. So it’s like making someone work for you for food, but no pay. Basically, that means your novel is like a nice, hearty bowl of Cheerios.
I try to listen to my Muse and write what she wants, not what I want. I also tend to put everything else aside and give her words when she asks for them. But she has this bad habit of showing up when I’m in the shower. I’d try to ask her to reschedule, but you don’t want to argue with an irritated mythical creature while she’s soaking wet.
The result is always the same. I pause mid-shower, loofah in one hand, while images and ideas flash in my brain. A line for my latest WIP pops into my head and I start whispering it to myself. My eyes go out of focus while I search this new idea. Connections are forged across my synapses as I link the latest inspiration to what has come before. Then I quickly turn off the water, wrap a towel around myself, and rush out to find something to write with. Sometimes, the inspiration is intense enough that I go straight to the computer and write the scene. Other times, I just need to take notes and preserve the idea until I’m ready to write it. Either way, I get water everywhere.
I’ve asked around, and it turns out this is a common problem. So common, in fact, that people have suggested many ways to address it. I voted for hiring a secretary who doesn’t mind sitting on the other side of the shower curtain to take dictation while I bathe, though there’s always the inevitable sexual harassment lawsuits. Alternatively, you can get a pad of waterproof paper for the shower.
There’s even some science to back up the idea that creativity can come to us in the shower. Apparently my Water Muse is shutting down the part of my brain that I “use to make decisions” and stimulating the part that controls “association, context, events and emotional responses.” In other words, like every other woman in my life, my Water Muse gets me all emotional until I can’t think straight. The warm water gets my dopamine flowing, distraction sets in, my mind wanders, and the Muse slips in between my thoughts to sprinkle her inspiration all over the place.
Of course, there’s plenty of times my Water Muse comes to me when I’m completely dry. Sometimes I’ll simply be sitting at the computer, typing away, when a surge of inspiration hits me like a tidal wave (get it?). That’s usually when I start typing faster and I become less aware of anything else that’s going on around me. Including the passage of time. Hours will pass before I come up for air(#SeeWhatIDidThere?). I don’t think my Water Muse understands or cares about the passage of time. The ebb and flow of the tides might seem to mark time for us but the shift in the tides is so gradual that you don’t notice it while you’re sitting there staring at the water. It’s only when you come back later and you notice the water lines on the dock that you realize how far the tide has gone out.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some slightly damp scenes to write.