Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Finding the Muse

by Claire Plaisted

Muses are strange creatures. Sometimes they become characters, at other times, they become authors. How do I know… well once I understood what was going on, it’s what happened to me.

Here I was opening word documents and writing, not understanding where the stories were coming from. They were all different genres, though mystery and adventure seem to be in most of my writing. Where did all these words suddenly come from? I’d no real clue. I just let my fingers talk. I’m also not one of those people who have done any Creative Writing Courses. They confused my English more than anything, a lot of it still does. I was taught differently at school. English was more understandable and easier than it is today.

I must tell you, I have an adorable husband who—a few years ago bought me two Writing Books. One of them I literally grazed though and put down quickly as too difficult to understand, the other was called On Writing, by Stephen King. It’s part biography and part about explaining writing. It was the best and only book I’ve ever read about how to write. It also made complete sense to me. It is because of Stephen King and his book that I found my muse… actually make that muses, because I’m damn sure I have more than one.

Stephen King mentions a muse is like having a pixie on your shoulder talking in your ear (well along those lines). You remember the devil and angel scenario from cartoons. Well, this is how I think of my muses. I have a naughty muse, mystery/adventure muse, children’s muse, fantasy adventure muse, historical muse… and lord only knows what else. I sometimes wonder if they’re people from history, though that seems to happen with characters more than my muses. The naughty muse tries to take over some manuscripts with her sexy ways, and I’ve had to cut paragraphs out due to her interference. She makes me sound like I have multi-personalities. I don’t… honest. Chloe (a pen name) just seems to be the strongest muse with the most demands.

Due to how I write, hopping and skipping from one manuscript to another, starting new ones, etc., I’ve acquired over 100 stories and at least 2.5 million words. Approx thirty-five are published. Quite a few of the old ones need re-editing due to my learning curve in English improving and my writing style changing.

Then I have the character muse. Some rather strong characters who argue about which story I’m going to visit first or next or whatever. They come storming into my office with their demands, banging doors and getting stroppy. (The last one stepped into a dream of sorts with demands to finishing…that manuscript is now open.) Of course, this also makes me sound mad as a hatter in my own wonderland. The arguments can be hilarious, and one ended up at a blog post a few years ago. If I remember rightly, one character got threatened with being thrown out of an aeroplane without a parachute… His sort of girlfriend wasn’t happy with that idea. I’m now sitting here laughing at the memory. Needless to say, we did throw someone out of the aeroplane without a parachute, just not the main character in the story.

To Stephen King, thanks for writing On Writing and sharing it with us all.

Until next time…😊

About the Author

Claire Plaisted lives in Palmerston North, New Zealand with her husband and son. At present, her daughters are in the UK. Claire is a multi-genre author and has published many books under several pen names, with side-lines in genealogy where she researches and formats family history books for clients. Since this time, she has also developed a business to help Independent Authors with Independent Publishing. Her publications include: a series of short stories called Garrett Investigation Bureau, six contemporary romance novellas under her pen name ‘Beth Bayley.’ Claire also has a children’s book series called Girlie Adventures. The first three are now available: Girlie and the War of the Wasps, Girlie and the Quest for Pedi’s Family and Girlie’s Circus Adventure. Visit Claire online at:

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3 thoughts on “Finding the Muse”

  1. Good morning to all.
    Claire, this is a great second part to the story of your writing journey. I’m looking forward to the next part to be sure.
    What did you learn? How did you learn it? trial and error? Classes? All of the above? These are some wonderings my muse wants to ask yours.
    Thanks Ernest for having Claire on your blog. Great stuff.

  2. I agree with you, the muse has many facets. Thanks for sharing.

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