Fueling the Muse

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk

I debated what to blog about this week. I thought of how I use music while writing, that each of my characters' souls are created by certain songs that 'speak' to me. Specific artisits, playlists, as well as individual songs help develop my characters backstories and help me define their goals - but my blog-partner wrote about that last week. Good Job Alexis Craig!

Then I thought about my decision to leave my career to follow my dream of becoming a published author. Was I intimidated by the blank screen? Did I have a good story to share? I knew without a doubt that I could do it! It was just a matter of time ...

My husband and I were triathletes, we'd been racing for a decade, so I knew whatever I put my mind to, I could accomplish. So, not only did I decide to write my first manuscript, but I started to train for my first Ironman race - 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 run - a total of 140.6 miles to be covered in less than 17 hours.

Within the first few days, a pattern emerged. The long training hours became the motivation for creative thinking. During my three hour morning runs, I'd picture the last scene I'd written the day before, and like a movie playing in my head, the next several scenes would unfold.

After my shower, with coffee brewing, I'd sit down and write. The vivid images that morphed during my run flowed from my fingertips, the words filling my computer screen. Lunchtime swims and afternoon bike rides also fueled the muse, creating unusual and interesting conflicts for my characters to deal with.While my muscles worked, my body sweated, and my brain created an abundance of material to fill my first 100,000 word - 400 page novel.

A few years ago, after completing 8 Ironman races (my husband finished 10), we decided to take a break. Not that we stopped working out completely, but we did slow down, only working out a few times a week as opposed to the six days a week we'd always done. What I noticed, other than the few pounds we gained, was my creativity stalled. I managed to complete a few more manuscripts, but I struggled with the flow of each story. I felt 'stuck' more times than I care to admit.

It took getting back into a fitness routine for me to realize the correlation. So, I now look forward to my daily workouts, because I know my muse will continue working as I sweat through my routine. And that is a very good thing as I'm currently working on book #2 and #3 of the Passion's Race Series.

Since it happens to be raining out and the temperature is much too cold for a run in the park, I'll imagine the next few scenes for Mike Dawson's Story while I Zumba in the basement ... with that, I'm wishing you a healthy, fitness-filled weekend! Let your muscles work, your body sweat, and your mind create!!



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