I have to say what inspires me to write is the writing itself. I choose to write fantasy sci fi because I love to create and people worlds, then go into them and spend time there. I look forward to seeing what will come out onto the page from my inner recesses.
Fiction isn’t my only writing. I journal daily and that is part of the process. Like any project, work happens on the side and is built on a foundation. I have written nonfiction—namely a dissertation, which had its exhilarating moments as I articulated an idea well, honed my ability to write in that form, felt a chapter forming, and then multiple chapters. But it held a lot of terror, too. Many mornings, I didn’t want to get up. The thing hung over me day and night, 24/7, for several years. I never want to feel like that again. In the end, it remains in folders on an external hard drive, never to be read. Kind of sad, to think of seven years of one’s life coming to that. But on the other hand, that time was not wasted. I can now help my kids with scholarly writing. There’s an ease to editing that only comes from years of practice.
With my current WIP, Elf Stone of the Neyna, I anticipate my writing time with excitement. It’s mine. It has no gatekeepers to frown upon or reject it. Having read fantasy sci fi since I was eleven, I can live and breathe it. I don’t have a muse for my creativity, per se. I am my muse, though I do love sharing my writing with my writing group, where my work has a fan or two, and eventually with my daughter (my son is waiting for the audio books; he’s too busy finishing a Ph.D.).
It’s all very well to speak of muses in ecstatic prose, but I think it must be better to have flexible creativity, easily ignited from within. Achieving that seems, for some of us, to come from alchemy, requiring much heating, tempering, and distilling of the nature. Then the muse within can amuse the writer on and on, endlessly.
Note: I put a portion of my new book cover here because it intrigued me to see how the Pakistani artist interpreted “treehouse.” Now, having blown up the detail, I’m seeing flaws in the Photoshop work. Nuts!