Stephen King and His Creepy Muse

Posted on October 17, 2006

Stephen King talks about the writing life in an article he wrote for The Washington Point. He begins by saying that watching a write write is not an exciting thing. He compares it to watching paint dry. This sounds about right. No one wants to watch a writer work. Readers just want to read the final edited product.

King also discusses his concept of a writer's muse in the article. King says his muse was very generous while writing his latest novel, but he's waiting for a visit from it so he cam finish Duma Key, the book he is currently working on.

The muse to Stephen King is a half-wild beast. He says the muse beast consumes "half-cooked stew of suppositions, superstitions and half-finished stories." King says this beast is "drawn by the stink of the image-making stills writers paint in their heads."

King says the beastly muse is attracted to the rooms writers work in. He says you can't call the beast, but it is attracted to to the "entrancing odor of hopeful ideas." The muse will sometimes vanish for weeks or months, which is when writers experience the dreaded writer's block. King suspects that writers are actually trying to keep the beast away during this period without realizing it.

King also notes that the muse does not travel and if a writer does travel the muse may show up not looking its best. Leave it to Stephen King to have a muse that sounds absolutely horrifying. We love it.

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