I’ve been writing for almost my entire life. It’s mostly all I’ve ever been able to think about. I do remember a bruised and frightening time, though, when I was lost for ideas and inspiration. My Muse seemed to be missing in action. I felt as if I was too.
Eventually, though everything turned around for me, and I never looked back. More than thirty books later, I think I’m actually becoming satisfied with my career as a Canadian Kidlit writer who has also dabbled in adult short fiction, poetry, and even a ‘grown-up’ mystery novel.
Sometimes I still hit a wall, and have those dry spells that make me wonder if maybe it’s time to give up the ghost. But underneath it all, there’s that passionate madness that drives my ambition. And suddenly it all comes flooding back in again.
These poetic thoughts are for those moments of doubt that plague every writer, whether emerging or mid-career, or even wildly successful:
Ode to a Muse
‘Tis always hard, this madness, to explain,
That seizes me at oft the oddest times,
That kidnaps my weak psyche once again
That forces me to scribble prose and rhymes,
But I am reassured that ‘ere too long,
I’m certain to lament with woeful song.
For though this muse takes hold upon a whim,
And floods my soul with brilliance days on end,
And forces me to tame and cut and trim,
And sends me, often, right around the bend,
It never comes at will, this muse I hallow:
No doubt my fertile mind will soon lie fallow!
Deb Loughead is the author of more than 30 books for young people, as well as co-editor of Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls, Sumach Press, 2008. An essay about her mother is included in Untying the Apron: Daughters Remember Mothers of the 1950s, Guernica Editions, 2013. Her latest book, Beyond Crazy, a YA novel from Lorimer Sidestreets series, will be launched this fall. Many of her novels have been published internationally, including her Northwood Trails series of horse novels for young readers, which appeared in seven languages. www.debloughead.com