Feeding the Muse

Since it’s the holidays, my blogs have shifted to a different week, so I thought I’d write about something a little different. And since November features the National Holiday of Eating a Lot, this week I’m going to talk about food.

As writers, we all spend a ridiculous amount of time finagling, fondling, cajoling, and even bribing our muses to give up the goods so we can get our stories on paper. We’ll do just about anything to get those fickle forces working on our side. Using just the right music, the right candles, the right pen, the right notebook, the right keyboard—all these things are ways I’m sure we’ve all used to seek optimum creative output.

My muse, unfortunately, likes to eat.

More correctly, he likes to be cooperative in places where food is available. Sadly, this does not include my own kitchen. He knows I’ll probably toss him a half-assed cheese quesadilla or a plastic container full of leftovers, and he’s just not down with that. No, he likes to go out.

Through trial and error, I’ve discovered all the restaurants in about a forty-mile radius where I can sit and eat and write and actually produce a decent amount of work. On the plus side, the muse likes fast and semi-fast food, so at least he’s not a terribly pricey date. On the minus side, he likes me to drive a lot.

He’s okay with Starbucks and Qdoba, and those are both available not far from home. But then there are the days where he wants Garbanzos or Jimmy Johns or, God forbid, Tokyo Joe’s or pad thai at Pei Wei. Then I have to drive down the hill to satisfy the hungry little beast. Oh, he’ll let me work at the library, too, but since the libraries aren’t exactly close, either, I’m usually away from home long enough that lunch becomes a necessity.

The good news is, once I sit down with whatever the muse is craving that day, I can usually crank out a thousand words or so while I’m having my lunch. But it would be really nice if I could get that same kind of output without having to bribe the muse with coffee, burritos, or stuffed grape leaves.

One of these days, I might figure out how to get my muse to put out without having to buy him dinner. On that day, my wallet and my gas tank will be much happier. But in the meantime, I’ll take my word count where I can get it.


Katriena Knights wrote her first poem with she was three years old and had to dictate it to her mother under the bathroom door (her timing has never been very good). Now she’s the author of several paranormal and contemporary romances. She grew up in a miniscule town in Illinois, and now lives in a miniscule town in Colorado with her two children and a variety of pets. For more about Katriena, visit her website and blog.



Patricia Stoltey
Blog Editor
Patricia grew up on a farm in central Illinois so naturally had to use the old farm in her first mystery. The second Sylvia and Willie tale takes place near and in the little touristy gold mining town of Oatman, Arizona. Patricia's third novel, a standalone suspense called Dead Wrong, was released November 2014. Dead Wrong was a finalist in the thriller category for the Colorado Book Awards. Visit her blog at http://patriciastolteybooks.com

3 thoughts on “Feeding the Muse

  1. This is funny. I find that my muse likes 1) quiet 2) a walk or jog and 3) coffee or hot beverage. However, food is my favorite distraction. Can’t think of what to type? Walk to the kitchen and grab something to eat. NOT good! Sigh.

  2. My muse is female and she’s very demanding. She likes chocolate. A lot. And coffee. Not sure she’d ever show up if I didn’t keep a big supply of both on hand.

  3. I swear sometimes I can hear him whispering in my ear, “Take me to Qdoba and I’ll give you that chapter…”

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