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I am a member of my local RWA chapter…actually I just joined. And wow is it already paying dividends. Our first meeting of the year featured guest speaker Jill Badonsky.

Jill Badonsky is a creativity coaching pioneer, inspirational humorist, artist, and founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™, a coaching model that guides individuals by using unprecedented approaches to busting through blocks to creative joy. Jill has been a creativity coach and consultant since 1996 and specializes in consulting film-makers, storytellers, stand-up comedians, and coaching writers, artists, and anyone wanting to live life with more creative thought, action and fulfillment.

Wow! It was a fabulous day…and I didn’t even know it until the next day.

So I won’t lie, she’s a new-agey type (we get a lot of those in California) and I wasn’t dialing in right off the bat, but I was open and listening. As a writer you have to be or you might miss a great bit of inspiration. She had us do some free association exercises and even some little writing things, and while they didn’t really strike me it was interesting to read what I came up with.

What really knocked my socks off in the long run was her discussion about giving your self permission to be creative. We discussed the difficulties as writers of balancing creative time with business/marketing time. This really hit home for me because, like many epublished authors, I have a day job as well as a budding writing career.

She read from her latest book The Muse is IN: An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity and I realized I was sabotaging my own creativity by obsessing about perfection. I was failing to allow myself time to write for fear it wouldn’t be the best I could do. I was using “business” stuff as a way to hide from my creative process. Well, shit!

Page 43 of her book talks about lowered expectations. In allowing yourself to create crap you open the door to your muse. You let her out of the box and she gets to play. I love this! It was my approach before I published and then I think I started putting pressure on myself to create sale-able material.

You can learn more about the book and Jill’s facilitation here.

Well, the dividend came on Sunday as what she said percolated overnight and I woke up with a short story idea for an existing Decadent Publishing series called The Edge.

The Edge is a series of short erotica tales designed to test the limits of our enjoyment of eroticism.

For the purpose of this series, erotica is defined as a story with sexual encounters being the primary focus and a believable plot is required.

HEA or HFN is not required. But we welcome one if it is a believable ending. We encourage you to explore the many ways people find to express themselves—in the bedroom, or out. Due to the short length, we are particularly interested in single scene stories.

I literally wrote the story around, 6K words, and edited it in one day. I WAS IN THE ZONE! And the best part is that Decadent acquired the story! I am very excited as it is a hot little contemporary story called Mergers & Acquisitions and it was born out of one of my many previous jobs—you guessed it at a mergers and acquisition firm. No it is not even remotely true, but I got to use a little of what I did and saw for over a year.

So, yay for the sale and as for Jill’s book? I say grab a copy if you do anything in a creative realm. It’s worth having as a reference and trouble shooting guide to kick your muse’s butt into gear. Hey, it helped me write this post!

How do you wrestle that pesky and often wayward muse in to submission? Have you named her (or him)?