My Muse has ADHD


My muse has been busy… Just not in the way I want her to be busy.

She’ll offer up ideas for random scenes in the middle of a manuscript and then remind me that my intro needs work. She’ll then offer up another scene from the middle of a different story entirely. Then she’ll start singing songs. It’s… tiresome.

Sample conversation between my muse and me.

Me: Hey, muse, let’s get to work.

Muse: Are you at that again? So. Tiresome.

Me: Yeah. Come on.

Muse: Here, write this.

Me: Uh, that’s from the middle of a story I haven’t started yet. Can we do a beginning first? Just a really good first chapter?

Muse: Do an outline. Oo, oo, maybe you could write this.

Me: That’s a totally different story.

Muse: Hey, don’t you judge me.

Me: No judgement. Just trying to figure out what we’re writing. So, which one are we writing?

Muse: (Singing) Her name was Lola. 

Me: Our book’s about a showgirl named Lola?

Muse: No, dummy. Oh, what do you think about a romance revolving around food trucks?

Looking west across 50th Street at pizza truck...

Me: Funny idea, but we don’t write contemporary. There’s that whole thing about how you like to pepper my manuscripts with dead bodies. I had to take three out of my historical because they didn’t fit. Not sure death and mayhem are good for a book about food trucks.

Muse: Hm. Maybe just a severed limb?

Me: Yuck. No.

Muse: Your loss.

Me: So… What are we doing?

Muse: Writing about how I like Barry Manilow. Oh, what do you think about cranberry-orange chutney?

Me: Are we writing about it?

Muse: No silly. We’re making it.

I go ahead and make the cranberry-orange chutney. It’s delightful. 

Me: I made the chutney. Now let’s get to work.

Muse: Oh, Mandy!

Me: I think I’ll take a nap.

So tell me, how do you control an unruly muse?

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18 thoughts on “My Muse has ADHD”

  1. I’m not sure if it is possible to control an unruly Muse! I did enjoy your mental ramblings though, and of course I am singing Barry Manilow. I will blame your Muse. Thanks for the share. I think. 🙂

  2. Nice post. I linked this article to my ADD-focused blog – to a guest post by Bryan Hutchison (creator of ADDerWorld – and more) about the writing process, ADD, and [lack of] completion (“Reframing Task Completion”). He doesn’t even TRY to control his muse!

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, SCAC, MCC – (blogging at ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld – dot com!)

    1. Thank you, Madelyn. I read Bryan’s post, and liked it immensely. I have to admire his acceptance of his muse. I keep trying to force mine to work on what I think we should be working on. But the muse is having an “Ooo, shiny!” moment, and refuses to be wrangled into a single task. Maybe after Christmas!

      1. I don’t have Bryan’s easy acceptance either, but I don’t really have to fight for cooperation from my muse. She’s fighting for MY cooperation with her!

        Whenever I get anywhere near my computer screen, I get so distracted by all of the clicks and likes and pings of the i-universe there is NO focus what-so-ever on whether my muse is waiting patiently for my return, distracted by shiny things of her own, or impatiently patting her foot, SWEARING that if I ever return she’ll mess with my Mac so I can’t ever click away again.

        Hmmm — there’s an idea for a vertical ap: a computer program that won’t LET you click anywhere else until you click DONE with whatever you set out to do. (However, in my case, it would have to make me tell it why I was there to begin with before it would give me access to ANYTHING unless I began the process I sat down to do — THEN the other part might work).

        Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, SCAC, MCC – (blogging at ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld – dot com!)

  3. Your muse and my muse should get together over cocktails…lol…They sound like two peas in a pod… 🙂
    Great post!
    – Kim

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