My muse disappeared while I was preoccupied with the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays. With all the additional To Do's that time of year brings, writing time was pretty much non-existent so I didn't even notice when she took off for parts unknown.
I discovered her absence when I sat down to write the first Monday in January. She'd stuffed all of my ideas, lines of dialogue, and the conflicts of my hero and heroine into her suitcase and taken them with her. I tried to struggle on without her, managing a sorry page count of 3 whole pages that week.
Thinking if I spent the weekend on some Me time filling the well so to speak, I'd entice her to come back. I didn't know it at the time, but I was deluding myself. The next week, she never showed and I eked out a few more pages. I was now well behind my 100 page goal for the month of January. I started to panic. What if she never came back? What if I'm never able to finish another manuscript?
After spending that weekend trying to figure out how to lure her back, I got mad. How dare she leave me high and dry when she knew how important my writing is to me? I decided then and there I was going to write the 25 pages a week that I'd set for myself come hell or high water. Monday I sat down and wrote 5 pages. They were horrid, needed more revision that I could possible describe, but I had 5 pages. I did the same thing Tuesday and Wednesday.
Guess who showed up Thursday in a snit. How dare I write without her? She had all my good ideas, I needed her. I told her to get lost, I didn't need her after all. She stamped her foot like a 5 year old and stormed around the room muttering to herself. I ignored her and kept writing.
She stood next to me, her arms crossed over her chest. "That's really bad, you know."
"I know," I said, "but I can fix it."
She started offering suggestions, great lines of dialogue and description. I couldn't move my fingers over the keyboard fast enough. She perched on the edge of my desk with a smirk. "I guess I showed you. You need me after all."
I just smiled and kept writing because her disappearance taught me something -- I don't necessarily need her. I can write without her. It may need a lot of work, but that's what revisions and rewrites are for.
Having a muse is nice. But not being held hostage to her whims or having to wait for inspiration is even nicer.