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Racontesse Musings… The Muse

When she's spoken, she's spoken. You have to obey. It's the law of creativity – your epiphany is filling your body with adrenaline and you just know that she's right. It's important to write what interests you. That sounds totally obvious, but I've had a hard lesson recently. A psychoanalyst friend was shocked, that having finished writing Urban Creatures, I announced I knew what the next project was to be: vampires. Definitely. She urged relaxation and recovery. I should give into the creative cycle and wait. Enjoy the moment of having finished a project, she urged. Wait – you will soon fill up.

Artwork by Alodie Fielding

It's a complaint I've often heard writers make – "I've got loads of ideas, I just don't know which one to work on first." None, probably. The death of creativity is to hang on to ideas that don't stimulate you enough to start working on them in the first place. In some ways ideas are easy, you don't really have to do much and they pop into your head. It's easy to be swayed and seduced because they're just that, ideas without form or construct. The Muse doesn't work this way. Ideas need to grow and mature. A little research and reading should be undertaken just to make sure you're headed in the right direction. I won't be writing about vampires in the near future precisely because having done some reading, I'm just not that into them. The Muse doesn't visit on a whim, she needs to see you've done a bit of work, know you're committed – and only then does she come a-knocking.

One day the project you're toying with will solidify. There's no doubt when that moment comes. You will know how to start and it will burgeon. Sure, there will be loads you have to work out and work through. It will feel right and sit well on your shoulders. The other projects will just fade away falling into the category of 'I've always wanted to write a novel about… [insert topic here]."

As well as the classic literary vampire, there's still some more contemporary vampire fiction, I enjoy feasting on; the sexy and amusing, True Blood, the elegant and quirky, Let The Right One In and of course, those crazy comedy vampires from What We Do In The Shadows. So apologies Gentlewoman Vampire, I will live to tell your tale another day.

Sarah Gray

21 June 2020

Featured artwork by Alodie Fielding

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