My Muse… Is Barry Manilow?

My muse is on hiatus.

No, seriously. She’s gone of vacation.

I try to kick her in the pants and tell her that we need to work, but she’s being difficult. She’s also singing a lot of Barry Manilow, which is both useless and weird.

I’ve tried listening to inspirational music. No, I don’t necessarily mean Enya and Yanni. More like Nine Inch Nails and Mumford and Sons and Johnny Cash. I’ve done bright and happy music, and I’ve done the tortured stuff.

Nope, the muse is still busy singing Barry Manilow.

I do like pina coladas, and I suppose getting caught in the rain is nice when you live in the desert… Wait, wait, wait. We’re supposed to be thinking about the tortured black moment, not having Barry Manilow on constant replay.

I thought cleaning might help. Something mindless where I can just let my mind wander. I turned on the tunes and set about scrubbing dishes. And suddenly I’m thinking about a girl named Lola. Who may or may not have been a showgirl.

Enough already!

Then I thought cooking might help. I like to cook. I can be creative, get something accomplished, and sometimes the muse will strike while I’m doing something creative where my brain isn’t necessarily actively engaged.

Do I know anyone named Mandy?

All this work, and the muse gave me nothing but a stomachache… But the cranberry chutney was really good. I think I’ll make it again on Thursday.

So here I sit at my computer composing blog posts. I’ve done my book reviews for the next two weeks, and scheduled them to be published. I’ve recorded a bunch of westerns to watch. I read another book. The dishes are done, and I’ve finally made a dent in the mountain of laundry I’d allowed to pile up because I was so busy I couldn’t see straight.

Though, muse, I want you to know that I can’t smile without you. 

And that about sums it up.

What about you? What do you do when your muse has decided to go on hiatus without your consent?

Meggan Connors‘ next book will probably be called If You LIke Pina Coladas, Mandy’s at the Copacabana. I smell a bestseller.

About Meggan Connors

Mother. Wife. Author. Teacher. Really, really bad soccer coach.
This entry was posted in A Memo from Meggan, Inspiration, Motivation, Time Management, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to My Muse… Is Barry Manilow?

  1. Erin Bollman says:

    Love it! Although, I have to point out that Escape (the Pina Colada song) was actually sung by Rupert Holmes. I’ve been known to sing it out loud, as well as all of the above mentioned Barry songs.
    I listen to music to get my muse going. I suggest Big Head Todd and the Monsters or Jamirquoi (esp. Tallullah, and maybe some Bad Girls?) Last week I even threw in Imaginary Lover by the Atlanta Rhythm Section. It helped me write a great sex scene!
    Other than music, reading always helps. I can get sidetracked if it’s a genre other than the one I’m writing, but I’ve found that it kick starts me faster than sticking to the genre that is so boring my muse.
    Good luck with it! I still love the stick figure picture with the gun held to the writer’s head, screaming, “Write the f’ing story!” with the caption, “The muse we all need!”

  2. Erin Bollman says:

    Ooh, one more song that might help, depending on what you’re writing?

  3. Pingback: Another Guest Blog « There's a Bee in my Bodice

  4. Hey Erin,
    Huh. My bad. Totally thought it was Barry. Oh well. My apologies to Rupert (we’re all on a first name basis, since their songs have taken up residence in my head).

    Maybe the problem is that I’ve been reading a lot of stuff outside my genre. Or maybe it’s that I’ve been go-go-go for four months and my muse just decided that I should take a break.

    Love the song, by the way. Thanks!

  5. I’m so happy to hear that’s it’s not just my muse that is on vacation! Perhaps they are together somewhere mine is only singing Christmas music lately if that is any weirder 🙂

    That was a fantastic post! Let me know if your muse starts on the Christmas music then we will know for sure they are partying somewhere together 🙂

  6. My muse sometimes has to be evoked by bad writing. I’ll sit down and force myself to write, and if I stick with it long enough, she eventually appears and helps me revise. I guess she gets busy, too 🙂

    Great post!

    • Thanks Ann!

      I’ve written many words. So many terrible words. Unfortunately, the only advice the muse has offered is, “Wow, that’s awful. Have fun with that!” So I delete my many terrible words, but by the time I’m done with that, she’s singing again. Loudly. It’s like I’m sitting in the back of my mom’s Dodge Le Car all over again. *shudder*

  7. I unfortunately have to wait for her to come back out of hiatus. When she gets in her mood, there’s not much to get her back out, but to simply ride it out. Once in a great while, I can find a song that will pop her back out. But, usually I’ll just pull out a book and read. She doesn’t like to be ignored, lol. So it doesn’t really take all that long for me.

    • Thanks Donna!

      It’s only been about two weeks. I’m between stories right now, so maybe that’s the issue. The last time she took off for any length of time, she came roaring back with a vengeance and didn’t let me sleep for three and a months.

      We’ll see what she decides to do this time, and what insight she imparts when she comes back. Maybe I’ll take Kristi’s advice and throw in some dragons. 🙂

  8. Maybe we can start a muse choir? 😉

  9. diannefarb says:

    My problem is that my muse is in full swing and I don’t have the time to write. OK, those of you who are having muse problems can now throw rotten tomatoes at my head.

    I’m dying to get back to it. I have a second manuscript to edit, and a third manuscript that is rolling around in my head. The holidays are just a huge distraction — and didn’t we just have them? I could have sworn we just took down the Christmas decorations a couple of weeks ago.

  10. Dianne,

    I wish I had that problem. My muse currently has ADD. She’s offering up random scenes for one story, then offers up the idea for another, then starts singing Barry Manilow (or Rupert Holmes). Which is weird, because I think I was <2 when those songs came out.

    But I now have edits to do, so that gives me something to do while the muse is otherwise occupied. 🙂

  11. Rachael Donnely says:


    Do you listen to the same music for inspiration while you write, or do you change it up depending on the type of scene you are writing?

    • Hi Rachael,

      My best answer is, it depends. I create playlists for each of my stories (I also listen to certain Pandora stations, too). If there’s a song that makes me think of certain scene in the book, regardless of whether or not it’s on my playlist, I’ll listen to it over and over. So, if my playlist is loaded with folk influenced indie rock because that’s what works for the book, but Vampire Weekend or Ke$ha or Nine Inch Nails makes me think of a specific scene, while I’m writing it, I’ll switch over. Otherwise, I stick with the playlist.

      This might be why I have something like 200 listens to a specific Wintersleep song, and I only bought the CD a month ago. It made me think of my black moment. All I knew is that I HAD to listen to that song over and over and over again. I still like it, even, so it must be a good song. 🙂

      I have yet to add Barry Manilow to a playlist, but I’ll tell you, I’m so not above it if the muse strikes. I’d like to think I’m cooler than the sweet sounds of the seventies, but since I know most of the words to every Neil Diamond song ever made, I’m guessing I’m not. (Thanks to my mother and her rocking 8-track)


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