butterfly, creative, creativemuse, muse, progress, writer, writing, writingfiction, writingprocess

Serious Silly

Not seriously silly.

Serious silly.


Today’s post is brought to you by my writing muse.

Mine’s a girl in pigtails, wearing some sort of dress. What it looks like depends on the day.

I thought she’s eight.

But, much has indicated she’s closer to six. She has the playful heart of a six year old. She loves to laugh, giggle, twirl, and chat. Wow, does she like to chat.

But, when serious adults or people who are convinced they’re right and everyone else is wrong, she acts all shy and runs behind the armchair…

or any other place she can hide.

She’s not at all like the famous, horror fiction writer, Stephen King’s muse, who he describes, in On Writing, as a basement-dwelling, cigar-smoking, grunting guy. I’m not kidding. King describes him on pp. 144-145 of his book.


This writing muse, this little girl in pigtails holds the magic, inspiration, and excitement for excellent fiction writing.

That’s all good and wonderful, but she isn’t the easiest to work with.

I’ve burned the midnight oil, writing myself silly, gritting my teeth and writing some more. And then writing. Did I mention writing?

I mean, I just finished my tenth revision of my manuscript for the first book. And, I’m not done, until it goes to press. Then I MUST stop.

But, that muse folds her arms, turns her nose up, and hides the magic the moment she senses the serious that has gotten me this far in life surfacing or taking stage. And, she has a bloodhound nose for this serious.

What serious am I talking about?

  • The philosophy training I’ve had. And, I had the rigorous, analytic sort. And, getting that frame of mind to unwind, when I went at it through my PhD and then some, can be challenging.
  • The logical frame of mind that has fueled my academic writing. Even relaxing my writing style to appeal to a broader university faculty audience.
  • The job that pays.
  • What gets me through the day, given my tight schedule.

Much more could be included. But, I think you get the point.

My creative muse doesn’t like working alongside the logical, left-brain side of me. She’d rather it go on break, or even better, take a hike.

She finds that logical side bossy, unimaginative, and downright boring.

That’s not always so easy to do. Get the serious one to lock it up.


Maybe giving the creative muse the attention she deserves, by sharing some of what excites her, will help.

  • She loves to observe what’s around her. If something strikes her fancy, she wants to stop and do something with it. When out, taking photographs works.

Lily Chang © 2018

  • She doesn’t like boring. Eating just whatever or consuming food not carefully crafted won’t do. So, sometimes she creates her own masterpiece.
Lily Chang © 2018
  • She finds butterflies amazing. Not just because everyone has to find something to obsess over. It symbolizes metamorphosis and transformation that we all undergo.

Lily Chang © 2018

  • She loves to bring her imagination to life and she likes to use different mediums to do that. Legos is one of many.


Lily Chang © 2018

  • Bold and bright colors are a must.
Lily Chang © 2018
  • Oh! And I almost forgot, last but not least, having the right tools are important. Take this fountain pen, for example. She’s particularly fond of it and tends to share more when I use it.
Lily Chang © 2018


Well, there you are.

You’ve been introduced.

She’s got the magic under her care.

She can change your — future readers (of my magical realism series) and artists — lives.

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