With the warm weather of the last few weeks, hubby Bob has taken me out for several MGB rides. If you aren’t a car enthusiast, an MGB is a British sports car manufactured by the British Motor Corporation. As you can see, it is a two-door roadster with a convertible top, a modern-day version of a chariot, if you like.
The MGB, built close to the ground, is made for driving on winding, up-and-down country roads, taking the curves at speeds a little (cough!) higher than your usual SUV or sedan. With the top down and the wind whipping my hair into a rat’s nest by the time we return home, it sometimes feels like we are racing the wind.
Bob loves driving either of his two MGs. I love riding in them.
Still, there are times when, because I am not behind the wheel and in control, the speed feels too fast. Probably because I am a writer and have no problem imagining all the ways things could go wrong if something unexpected happened.
But if I let my fears determine my experience, I’m not likely to enjoy the ride. So, I tell myself to loosen my grip on the window frame, take a deep breath, and relax into the thrill of the ride.
And it is a thrill, zipping through the scenic countryside with my sweetheart at the wheel, both of us enjoying the ride and the views.
I refuse to let my fear, my lack of control, take away from my enjoyment of the ride.
Just like I don’t want my fear to take away the thrill of the ride with my Muse.
I’m in the process of writing a new novel which means I’ve already done some research and planning. I’ve also written a dozen or so scenes. And now I am back to more planning and research, working out plot points, laying out characters’ back stories, and thinking about mythic elements.
I enjoy this…to a point. It’s like driving the car at the recommended 40 miles an hour around the curves so that I see far enough ahead to react and know where I am going. It’s safe but…ultimately boring. There is no discovery, no surprise, no challenge.
Sometimes, you just need to let your Muse get behind the wheel and drive at high speeds into unknown territory, screeching around those curves while all you can do is hang on.
Don’t play it safe and try to slow her–or your story–down. Your Muse is likely to kick you to the curb (without slowing down to do it).
Instead, throw your head back, let the breeze tangle your thoughts and your well-laid story threads, and soak up the thrill of the ride.
Because the Muse may take you to unexpected places.
And you certainly don’t want to miss out on that experience.