I’m settling into the easy chair by the TV and the only sound I hear is the gentle hum of my computer and the purr of my sleeping cat. I pull up my latest work-in-progress and a few sentences in, I hear it: The anti-muse.
Unlike the soft and sweet whisper of the muse, the anti-muse yells with a raspy voice of steel wool that will rip into your heart and tear out your hopes and dreams.
“You fool!” He screams. “You’re no writer. You’re just a simpleton trying to put words together into sentences no one wants to read. Just look at your blog. Zero readers this week. ZERO! ZILCH! NADA! No one wants to read your rubbish,” the anti-muse snides.
“So I’m in a bit of a slump,” I say. “But anyone can write. It’s just putting thoughts into words with a little creativity.”
“Anyone can write garbage!” He replies. “And let’s face it; you have the creativity of a white crayon on white paper. Just read the trash you have so far. I don’t even know which incompetence I should point out first! You used their instead of they’re, the whole scene is unrealistic, and your characters have no personality!” The anti-muse says as he guides my attention to each fault in my writing.
“I see what you mean but…”
“You couldn’t sell a well-researched essay to the richest slacker on earth! Let alone sell a novel to a reader. You should have stuck to the wise advice ‘write what you know’; which in your case means nothing!” He says as he rips deeper into my soul.
“I just thought this would be an interesting…”
“Well, it’s not!” He interrupts. “It’s less interesting than your grey-clad algebra teacher with the monotone voice. I mean seriously! Where is this plot going anyway? I know. It’s either going nowhere or it’s going straight to….”
“STOP IT! JUST STOP IT!” I yell back. “It’s a draft, D-R-A-F-T, draft. It’s supposed to be rough! Yes, I have a long way to go on it, but I’m just starting to get my ideas down.”
“Isn’t this your third draft?” He gives as a rebuttal. “Shouldn’t you have it down by now?”
“No! I’ll probably revise it a few more times, get it critiqued, revise again, and keep repeating the process until you shut up.” I say. “Now leave me alone! I need to write some more garbage. For all you know it could turn into gold once it’s refined in the fires of revision.”