Unleashing Your Inner Sybil
A Free Excerpt
By Stephen Windwalker
Editor, Kindle Nation Daily
©Kindle Nation Daily 2011
About a year ago, acting on a recommendation by Seth Godin, I read a remarkable book entitled The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield. It was a pretty remarkable book — all about removing or avoiding the sources of friction that were keeping me from getting done as much as I would like to get done — and it has had an effect on my life nearly every day since I read it.
But it was a bit dry in places, and I suspect that it was also a bit of a guy’s book, if you don’t mind my saying so. Neither of those was a deal-breaker for me personally of course, but I remember daydreaming at the time that it would be great if somebody could come along and deliver a similar message that might be more vivid, more lifely, more fun, and more accessible, including, of course, to women.
And so, now, along comes the woman of my dreams, or of my daydreams in any case, to write an incredibly smart, funny, and truly inspirational book that could be the spicier sibling of Pressfield’s book. And I am here to tell you that, like The War of Art, D.D. Scott’s MUSE THERAPY: Unleashing the Inner Sybil is going to have an effect on thousands of people’s lives nearly every day once they have read it.
What I haven’t mentioned is that, like The War of Art, MUSE THERAPY is written with writers in mind. But with both books, the messages will resonate far more widely than just among the community of writers or, in the case of MUSE THERAPY, romance writers.
Whether you are working on the next great read to feature a Fabio clone on the cover (with or without Stetson), any other form of creative endeavor, or frankly any activity that requires you to focus on working solo to harvest your individual talents, D.D. Scott has written a book that could change your life, and give you plenty of laughs in the bargain!
Here’s the set-up:
Romantic Comedy Author and a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy D. D. Scott is treating you and your muses to the book version of her wildly successful Muse Therapy Online Classes and Live Workshops.
MUSE THERAPY utilizes fun and fabulous tools to inject life into writers’ tired and/or stressed out muses. By showing you how to analyze your muses’ funks, rein in your creative divas and ultimately up your page counts, D. D.’s created a writer’s go-to-manual for “muse disorders”. She’ll help you dig deep then deeper still into your writer psyche.
Why is she helping writers the world over?
Here’s the scoop…
Once upon a time her muses weren’t ticking. They were ticked off. Why? Because they were too damn tired and stressed out trying to find their way on the Yellow Brick Road to Publishing Oz. Screw the Happily Ever After. Her creative divas couldn’t produce past page one.
Saying that writing-for-publication is tough is the bolder-than-bold-faced understatement of the new millennium. And with today’s huge economic and technological changes, it ain’t gettin’ any easier.
But once D. D. shows you how to recognize, acknowledge and accept your muses’ afflictions and teaches you her tricks, tips and “trips” to treat the word witches of your writing world, you and your muses will be cranking out pages with gusto.
Plus, you won’t be alone in your journey. Her MUSE THERAPY tips and tricks continue to be apropos no matter where a writer is in his/her career. By sharing fantastic and at times roll on the floor, laugh out loud anecdotes she gathered – either interviewing or attending workshops given by the romance genre’s hottest stars – she proves this assertion. You’ll hear from:
Jayne Ann Krentz
Welcome to “therapy”…MUSE THERAPY that is.
Click here to download D.D. Scott’s MUSE THERAPY(or a free sample) to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Android-compatible, PC or Mac and start reading within 60 seconds!
Free Kindle Nation Shorts – January 28, 2011
An Excerpt from
Unleashing Your Inner Sybil
An Excerpt from
Unleashing Your Inner Sybil
by D.D. Scott
Copyright © 2010, 2011 by D.D. Scott and published here with her permission
Once upon a time my muses weren’t ticking. They were ticked off. Why? Because they were too damn tired and stressed out trying to find their way on the Yellow Brick Road to Publishing Oz. Screw the Happily Ever After. My creative divas couldn’t produce past page one.
Let me clarify a bit. I’m not talking about my ticked off muses from yester
year, before I wrote this book to give your muses a good kick in the pants. I’m talking about my yesterday muses, or maybe the day before that, or last week and last month. ‘Cause here’s the thing…our creative divas are a constant work in progress (hereinafter referred to as WIP) as are the manuscripts of our hearts that we’re trying like Hell to get published.
Saying that writing-for-publication is tough is the bolder-than-bold-faced understatement of the new millennium. Writing-for-publication is a bitch! There’s just no sweeter-than-raw-sugar way to say it. And with today’s huge economic and technological changes, it ain’t gettin’ any easier.
The ruby slipper advice that once took your manuscripts from the slush pile to Emerald City has been re-shoed. Editors have been there, done that and are looking elsewhere for the ‘Yes…I want that one’. It’s a new publishing world, and if you want to make it, you can’t be anything less than brave and fierce in your determination. Not only do your muses need to be dancing like nobody’s watching. They’d better be dancing their asses off for the long-haul.
But how can our muses keep bootscootin’ when publishers continuously change the beat of what they want and don’t want? When no one else is still gutting it out with you on the dance floor? When the music we like isn’t the crowd favorite or worse yet, it’s the genre publishers insist is dead?
For years, seven to be exact, I pondered these less-than-stellar writing-for-publication realities…just like you are now. Frankly, I still ponder them every day while getting my BITCHOK groove on (Butt In The Chair Hands On Keyboard) producing the next batch of pages I hope to sell to some editor somewhere over the publishing rainbow of rejection.
But not until January of 2009 while I was comfy on the couch in a Smoky Mountain chalet in Tennessee, with a spirited fire crackling and warming my fluffy-socked feet, did I discover Muse Oz.
On that frigid, snow-frosted mountain night, I was looking for a way to make my writing-for-publication career plan break out and stand out from the slush pile pack. I’d always been a big fan of NOT running with the wolves. Instead, I like to stay out of the pack and ahead of the leader dog just a smidgeon. So how could I get myself to be a Seth Godin Purple Cow on my Yellow Brick Road to bestsellerdom?
Godin, a Tufts and Stanford educated marketing guru, said in his New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller PURPLE COW that to transform your company (or yourself), you’ve got to be “remarkable”…as remarkable as a Purple Cow in a barnyard full of brown Hiefers.
Here’s what I knew for sure…Writers didn’t need to be reminded how tough writing-for-publication is. We all “get” that! Nothing “remarkable” about that. It just plain sucks. And on those rare occasions we forget, there are plenty of books out there emphasizing the realities of Publishing Hell and crashing creative spirits.
What writers need are fun and productive techniques to keep their muses cranking out pages ’til some editor somewhere likes what they put on the page and offers them the “big bucks”…or just bucks period.
To keep my muses cranking out manuscripts I rely in part on multiple award-winning poet, playwright, filmmaker and iconic creativity teacher Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY. Cameron taught me (and reminds me each time I return to her book – which is a bunch) that writers, like all artists, fly in the face of failure on just their “wings and a prayer”. We continue traveling writing-for-publication paths because those fascinating but at times treacherous roads feed our souls, awaken our spirits and boost our zest for life.
Beyond Julia Cameron’s guidance, I rely on my own unique brand of psychobabble bullshit cultivated by my studies at Purdue University. I graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Political Science and Psychology. Basically, I’m qualified to lie then make reasonable excuses for and an analysis of the world’s beyond crazy antics. Seriously though, I love analyzing what makes leaders and the groups they lead tick. In addition, I have a knack for public speaking and teaching. I simply love to share and debate ideas.
So back to my Smoky Mountain chalet but add a gin and tonic with lime to the fire-warmed, toasty scene I previously set. I was taking a class that night – add perpetual student to my resume – by award-winning writer and instructor extraordinaire Randy Ingermanson, aka The Snowflake Guy, on how to write what he calls a “SuperArticle” or “Pillar Article” to capture people’s attention on a world-wide stage. Randy pushed me to think about what it was I knew and could teach writers in a unique way that would also introduce D. D. Scott to the world in a big, splashy, one-of-a-kind blitz. What could I write to make the buzz (at the water-coolers near the publishers’ slush piles) about me and my writing?
Finally…I had it!
Thanks to Seth Godin, Julia Cameron, The Snowflake Guy, a fabulous fireplace in a mountain chalet and my share of gin, I discovered a way to be a purple cow on my way to Publishing Oz. And boy would my parents be thrilled I was actually going to use my college degree! I reached for my legal pad and pencil – how I start most all of my writing projects – and MUSE THERAPY FOR WRITERS: UNLEASHING YOUR INNER SYBIL was born.
MUSE THERAPY utilizes fun and fabulous tools to inject life into writers’ tired and/or stressed out muses. By showing you how to analyze your muses’ funks, rein in your creative divas and ultimately up your page counts, I’ve created a writer’s go-to-manual for “muse disorders”. I’ll help you dig deep then deeper still into your writer psyche.
Once I show you how to recognize, acknowledge and accept your muses’ afflictions, I’ll teach you tricks, tips and “trips” to treat the word witches of our writing world.
My techniques are built upon poking good-natured fun at just how closely our life as writers parallels that of the best mental health maladies.
By showing you how to keep your BITCHOK groove on, I’ll keep you laughing out loud and producing a plethora of pages. Using creative exercises such as Muse Therapy “trips”, collaging as a WIP of your WIP, “Rorschach-inspired” Feng Shui, Bi-Polar and Neurotic Writing, and stimulants like bitchy signs when coffee, chocolate and martinis aren’t enough, I’ll empower you to regain sovereignty over your creative dynasties.
You may know you need MUSE THERAPY. You may not. Depends on whether or not you’re in denial. Although you DID pick-up this book which could be a significant clue, let me convince you beyond reasonable sanity that you damn well need to continue reading.
When any of the below sound even remotely familiar, you need MUSE THERAPY:
1. Your muses aren’t ticking. They’re ticked off.
2. Your muses are in a funk saying “up yours” instead of upping your page counts.
3. Even great sex or a new pair of shoes can’t rein in your creative divas.
4. The following sessions sound appealing:
** Unleashing Your Inner Sybil
** Writing Bi-Polar: I Suck vs. I’m a Genius
** What Do You Mean I’m Neurotic? No, I’m Not. Well, Not Exactly. But Okay… There Are Times When. Like You Need To Know That. Anyway, I Was Thinking, My Jeep Is Red
** Rorschach For Writers: I See Dead Lines
** Stimulants: When Coffee, Chocolate, and Martinis Aren’t Enough
** Goin’ Jungian
** Muses and Misplaced Aggression – Kick Your Own Ass Not Somebody Else’s
** Word Witch Paranoia
** Rockin’ It With Anal Retention
5. Your word witches are on their way to publishing Oz but the Yellow Brick Road you’re bootscootin’ on…well…the damn thing never ends!
6. Everyone says your writing is a waste of time, a “hobby” that will never “pay-off”.
7. You feel the urge to tell everyone in reason six to (I’m thinking of a phrase that starts with a 4-letter-word and ends with a ‘you’, ‘off’ or ‘me’).
Here’s the secret MUSE THERAPY reveals…upping page counts isn’t done by hurling nasty insults at your muses. Oh no. When writing-for-publication, you must wine and dine those divas. Whether it’s with coffee, chocolate, fabulous finds in some chic boutique, or with what I call Muse Therapy Trips, it’s all about pampering those chicks and chucks ’til you get out of them exactly what you want…and then some.
To do this, you must discover why, when, where and how your muses produce fabulous bursts of ideas on your screen and manuscript pages. With MUSE THERAPY, you’ll have a terrific time conquering your creative divas and taking back the crown of your personal Muse-ville kingdoms.
And you’re not alone in your journey. My MUSE THERAPY tips and tricks continue to be apropos no matter where a writer is in his/her career. By sharing fantastic and at times roll on the floor, laugh out loud anecdotes I gathered – either interviewing or attending workshops given by the romance genre’s hottest stars – I’ll prove this assertion. You’ll hear from:
Jayne Ann Krentz
You’ll appreciate and relate to the at times hilarious at times appalling and embarrassing flops and miss-steps they endured on their way to bestseller superstardom.
Believe you me, I was shocked to garner attention from such writing greats!
I conceived MUSE THERAPY: UNLEASHING YOUR INNER SYBIL as an online class that I’d be lucky to attract interest in since, at that time, I was still unpublished. But I debuted the idea at RWA’s National Conference in Washington D.C. in July 2009 to gigantic kudos then booked seventeen online classes and live workshops within the next sixty days (including being asked to provide “therapy” for the 2010 RT Convention in Columbus Ohio). Muses were evidently hurting all over the globe, and I’d realized the awesome reach of my approach. I’d created a huge hit for writers to heal their partners on the page!
And wow was I completely humbled when class participants continued asking me to write a companion book. Even though I had no clue what the Hell I was doing (just ask my agent), I soon set out on that non-fiction Yellow Brick Road with gusto. Like I’ll show you to do, I reined in my creative divas. You’re reading the results.
So let’s get started…the next book you read could be yours!
Grab a comfy couch or your favorite chair and put up your feet. It’s time to give your muses a big-time boost of productive power. Note: I’m serious about putting up your feet. Get comfortable. Whatever form that takes for you.
Besides a comfy couch or chair, you’ll need the following tools on your MUSE THERAPY journey:
- A Journal or Notebook – one that really makes your muses wake-up and take notice. Something so in line with their tastes that they’re dying to crack open the cover and get to work. For example, I love anything hot pink and chocolate brown in color, and the more sparkles on it the better. So I snatch up those puppies wherever and whenever I find ’em. And don’t forget the equally fabulous pen or pencil your muses also can’t resist. Oh, and if you’re a techno person, using your PC, laptop or notebook, or smart phone is perfectly fine too. MUSE THERAPY is all about whatever works for you and your muses. Who cares what anyone else thinks of your methods and tools?
- A Reward Box to fill with slips of paper containing treats for yourself as rewards for reining in your creative divas and upping your page counts. For example, I might jot down that I’d like a mani or pedi or mani/pedi combo – depending on my budget. Or how about an evening at the movie theatre instead of at home with my DVR? And I’d love to have another massage. So I write down all these treats and toss them into my Reward Box. Every so often, after I’ve met another production goal, I pick a slip from the box and treat myself and my muses to something I know ahead of time I’ll beyond love. And as in the above MUSE THERAPY tool, of course it’s okay to put all your rewards on some techno-terrific spreadsheet too!
To pamper your muses, you must first pamper yourself. In MUSE THERAPY, it’s all about you, Baby! Give yourself permission to be queen of your creative domain. Your muses will be glad you did and so will you.
Just don’t fool yourself into thinking once you’re done with this book, you’re good to go. Writers are WIPs just like their WIPs. Our
muses can always use a tune-up. And MUSE THERAPY FOR WRITERS: UNLEASHING YOUR INNER SYBIL is the right mechanic as verified by the following bestselling authors:
“Had a blast doing this. Love your idea, and hope you have a terrific time with it!” – Jennifer Greene aka Alison Hart
“Sounds like fun, and I’m sure will help people.” – Eloisa James
“Love your subtitles :)” – Allison Brennan
“All the best! I have to find a time…I’ll be home long enough to take the whole course!” – Nancy Haddock
“I really REALLY appreciate your asking for my input. I’m so excited… and know it’s going to be amazing. I’ll send people your way!!” – Tawny Weber
“Thanks so much for asking me to participate! This was fun. :)” – Cynthia Eden
“Thanks so much for including me in your workshop quotes! I really like your “voice” and humor. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.” – Marcia James
So get back on that couch of yours and put up your feet. You’re ready to embark on your first of many MUSE THERAPY sessions. Take note of the creative exercises I teach that really make your muses dance like nobody’s watching. You’ll return to these fun and fabulous tools whenever your creative divas need another kick in the pants.
Most writing books harp on and on and on about the beyond bleak chance you will ever see your book on a shelf or e-reader screen. Instead of dampening your creative zest, yet again, with additional cold shots of discouragement, we’re going to focus on reigniting the fiction and/or non-fiction flames kindling your muses. Using unique exercises and tools, we’ll warm up your muses and analyze their funks then rein in those fickle divas and up your page counts.
Playing on the “crazy trip” writing-for-publication is (even on a good day), we’ll assess your writer’s journey in a parody-like roast as if you are the next great mental health case study.
We’ll study and continuously build-on laugh out loud visuals including photos, art work reproductions, bitchy signs, comics and cartoons. Using these outrageous images, I’ll help you stimulate and reinvigorate your cranky, stressed-out muses.
Focusing on laughter as the best and most successful therapy, MUSE THERAPY shows you and your muses it’s okay to be “crazy” as long as your “crazy” works for you by upping your page counts and taking back the throne of your creative empires.
Welcome to “therapy”…MUSE THERAPY that is.
NAME THAT MUSE
You’re still reading. Bravo! I take it you’ve decided you need a writer’s go-to-gal for muse “disorders”. You’ve committed yourself to staying on the “crazy” writer’s journey to publication. For that, you should probably be committed.
Instead, pat yourself on the back. Go ahead. Give yourself a hearty tap. Few people are waiting in line to do it for you, right? So have at it! Congratulate yourself for being at the top of your creative game. You’re not in denial. And shame isn’t blocking your momentum ’cause you’re still “in therapy”. You must be in the writing business for fun, fortune and fame.
What? That’s not it? Okay. At least that last ideal looks fabulous on paper. You gotta see it to believe it. Right?
So bad jokes aside, let’s get started.
I’m going to remind you again, like I will throughout the book, that you’re not alone in your take-back-the-power struggles. For example, New York Times bestselling author of historical romances and Fordham University Shakespeare professor Eloisa James told me “My muse doesn’t fizzle because I can’t allow her to…I keep my imagination alive…”
Yes. Even New York Times Bestsellers have to work at keeping their muses on the ball. But not just the top of the chart authors have to pamper their muses. Here’s what a couple of my Muse Therapy Online Class participants shared with me about their on-going struggles with their creative divas:
“I’m still trying to get my muse back here. She sent me a postcard from some beach in Tahiti saying that I was the one who needed therapy and not to bother her while she is sunbathing, swimming and dancing with (insert names of hot cabana boys)…Oh and the chocolates I sent her were good but she wants dark chocolate next time and more rum. Grrr.”
“A few weeks ago, I had a big push and submitted a bunch of stuff and now I’m waiting to hear back. And, I guess my muses feel like they needed a vaca(tion). Haven’t heard a peep from them. Guess I’ll have to call them out…”
When you’re fin