Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Pursuit and My Muse

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Way back in May, 2008 when the Casa blog was first started, I introduced myself by saying that I'd been writing for just about as long as I could remember. I wrote in a lot of different venues with varying degrees of success, but one thing was certain, if I wasn't writing I always felt like something was missing. But thanx to my muse Ms. Crankypants (to learn more about her, see my guest post tomorrow on Sia's Thoughts Over Coffee : http://siamckye.blogspot.com/), I usually found something to write about.

My muse always threw interesting characters, situations, and settings my way. When I sat down to write, if the words were flowing, it was thanks to Ms. Crankypants. If not... well, she does tend to be a bit temperamental sometimes.

Over the years and the different writing projects, I've learned to trust my muse and my process. And mostly that process is to just keep showing up! I know, I know, that sounds terribly boring, and not romantic at all. But the plain truth is that (at least for me) writing a book is hard work. If I dilly-dallied around and waited for inspiration, or my characters to speak to me, or whatever, I don't think I'd ever finish anything.

It has taken me awhile, but I have finally learned that consistency is the key. If I show up every day at the same time and place, my muse and I are both prepped and ready. My characters talk to me, my plot rolls along at a decent pace, and the words (and pages) keep growing.

If only that were all that was required, but of course, it's not. Around ten years ago, I made the momentous discovery that I really NEEDED to write. I admitted to myself that I was not a truly happy camper if I didn't have a creative writing project going. Unfortunately, with the need to write comes that other necessity -- readers!

My DH (the artist) and I have had many a discussion on this topic. A story is not like a painting or a sculpture, which is finished when the artists determines it is, and it needs no audience. A story is meant to be read. And if I thought writing a book was hard work, finding readers proved much more difficult! In fact, I'm still actively engaged in the quest.

Back in Spring 2008 I was on the verge of seeing my first book in print, and a lot has happened since then. I know now that writing a good book is only the beginning, and that once the book leaves my hands there are so many things that are beyond my control. But I've traveled this far on my journey, and I'm not about to stop. Knowing that I have gained some readers who enjoy my stories makes the quest worthwhile!

Besides, my grouchy muse isn't always uncooperative. She still tempts me with story ideas and fascinating characters, that I can't wait to share. Ms. Crankypants and I intend to keep rolling along for a good long while.

So tell me some of the things you have discovered that are worth pursuing. Did you have anyone to help you in your quest? A DH, a BFF, or a cranky muse, perhaps?

P.S. Since I have no more books contracted with Sourcebooks Casablanca, this is my last post on this blog. You can still find me online at my personal blog Aunty Cindy Explains It All (http://www.auntycindy.blogspot.com/ ) and my group blog Romance Bandits (http://romancebandits.blogspot.com/ ).

My three books, The Wild Sight, The Treasures of Venice (just named a finalist for the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award) and The Wild Irish Sea should all be available at your local bookstore or from Amazon.

22 comments:

  1. Aunty Cindy, your books have been a joy to read. Sorry to see that you won't be posting here anymore, but I'll be sure to drop by your other sites to see what you're up too. Best of luck.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

    ReplyDelete
  2. You will be missed!

    See ya in the bookstores....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, we'll miss your posts, AC! Here's wishing bigger and better things for you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Cindy~

    I'm so sorry to see you leave our little blog, you've been such a big part of it. Don't be a stranger.

    I've discovered my writing is worth pursuing. It makes me happy, keeps me sane, and gives me so much. I've found wonderful friends, a new sense of identity, a whole new chapter in my life .

    AS for people who have helped me on my journey, there are so many but the first two stick in my head. My friend Alison who told me I should "get published" as if it were that easy, and my husband Stephen offered to take over the laundry so I had more time to write. He's my biggest supporter and believed in me and my writing way before I ever did.

    Since then I've found sisters of my heart wonderful critique partners and dear friends within RWA and Sourcebooks. That was the most unexpected pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cindy, you know how heartbroken I am to not have a Loucinda McGary novel on the immediate horizon. Keep up the excellent work, let Mrs. Crankypants have her way, and I know more brilliance will be forthcoming and accepted elsewhere.

    Best of luck on the current blog tour and in everything you do. Hope to see you soon! Your friend, always. Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have a Ms Crankypants of my own, Cindy and she's always after me to write more! She obviously has more time than I do!

    And remember, this isn't good-bye, it's "til we meet again."

    With all good wishes for tons of success with your next book!

    Amelia

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks Mason!
    I had such a fun time as your guest last week. I hope to blog with you again in the near future!

    AC

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Jessica,

    Honestly, I've blogged much longer on my other two sites so I don't really feel like I'm going anywhere.

    AC

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the BIGGER and BETTER wishes, Cheryl. Same to you! ;-)

    AC

    ReplyDelete
  10. Robin,

    I too have been surprised at the wonderful connections I've made out there in the romance writing world. I've met some really GREAT people!

    All my best to you and your wonderful DH!

    AC

    ReplyDelete
  11. HUGS, Sharon!

    I can't thank you and Emily enough for being such great fans of my work. I'm sure there will be more books for the two of you to read, they just won't be from Sourcebooks.

    AC

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh NO, Amelia!
    There's another Ms. Crankypants?!?! Yes, they are very demanding and seem to think we have unlimited time, but ya gotta love the great things they do for our writing.

    I'm sure we will be 'seeing' each other around the blog-o-sphere as well as the romance world.

    HUGS!
    AC

    ReplyDelete
  13. It took me two years to figure out I really wanted to write to publication. Fortunately, during that two years, I met one awesome writer from Cali who pushed me, supported me, and never failed to make me smile.

    Thanks for always being there for me, AC. You're a special lady and a killer talent. You've got a reader in me as long as you've got stories to tell. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Aunty Cindy

    I know there are going to be many more awesome books from you for me to read I love your stories they keep me enthralled from start to finish. You and Mrs Crankypants I know have lots more stories to tell and you have become a great friend.
    Thank you for the hours of pleasure you have already given me and the many more to come.

    Have Fun
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey Aunty Cindy,
    Sorry to hear this is your last post at this blog, but I know I'll be "seeing" you around.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm sorry to see you go. I always enjoy your posts. Best wishes with your future endeavors.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've so enjoyed your posts, Aunty Cindy! And I'm looking forward to the next adventure from you and Ms. Crankypants. You'll be missed around here, but I'll be keeping a lookout for you elsewhere!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanx TerriO!

    And I can't wait to see your book on the shelves!

    AC

    ReplyDelete
  19. Helen and Jane,

    Thank you sooo much for being such loyal fans! You two and TerriO will hear all about my latest news on my Yahoo Groups newsletter, never fear.

    Thanks for dropping by today,
    AC

    ReplyDelete
  20. Olivia and Joanne,

    Sorry our aquaintence here has been short, but I'm sure we'll be 'seeing' each other in the very near future.

    AC

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, AC! I can't believe this is your last post here... for now! Lots of things are worth pursuing--no muse for me, but my family does assist me in the pursuit of delicious food, for instance ;) It's a hard job, but someone has to do it :D Can't wait to see where that muse is leading you next!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I will miss your voice in our blogs, Cindy, and wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

    ReplyDelete