ABOUT MONIQUE MULLIGAN
Monique is an author, interviewer, and founder of the Stories on Stage program in Perth. A former journalist, news editor and publisher, she combines part-time marketing for an arts centre with novel writing. Monique’s debut contemporary fiction novel Wherever You Go and her second novel Wildflower have been acquired by Bloodhound Books and will be re-released in 2023.
Monique has had essays and short stories published in several anthologies, most recently Reflections on Our Relationships with Anne of Green Gables: Kindred Spirits, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, and South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century.
When she’s not working you will usually find Monique a) writing b) reading c) cooking and d) taking photos for her cat’s Instagram page. When she’s socialising, she’s usually behind a camera or in a corner hanging out with other introverts and making mental notes for stories.
Monique blogs about her creative journey on Substack.
substack - la muse
Muse: the source of inspiration, magic and joy for writers, musicians, artists and creators.
La Muse: A place where I hope to rediscover and reconnect with my muse.
If you’ve followed me on Facebook or Instagram or at my website for a few years, you may remember that I used to regularly blog about my writing journey. Whenever I was stuck or frustrated with my journey I’d “write it out” … and I’d always feel better after. It was cathartic in a way that journalling never was.
But I let blogging fall by the wayside and now I find myself needing to “write it out” once more.
For the past six to nine months, I’ve been feeling “lost” creatively. I haven’t been able to find a creative flow. To settle into writing my third book – to know what it is I want to say.
Why do I feel lost? Is that even the right word? What is the true nature of this creative malaise and where has it come from? Is it stemming from something within me? The world in its current uncertain state? Both?
As I muse on my creative malaise and the best way forward, I want shake off the overthinking and “should mentality” I’m prone to. I want to celebrate the fact that I’ve had two novels published in two years, rather than push on to the next. And I’d love you to be part of that.
Here’s what I learned in 2022 – I am not a writer who can write book after book. I need time to replenish and recuperate between books. My mind needs it. My heart too. And now, so too does my body. In May 2022, I broke my thumb in a car accident and, after surgery and seven months of hand therapy I’ve been told it will never fully recover. My focus has been forced elsewhere – on appointments, on therapy, on a heavier workload in the day job – but oh, did I fight it hard. Instead of taking the time to rest and recover, I kept pushing back and trying to force words, story, creativity from a mind cluttered and stressed and utterly devoid of energy.
It didn’t work. There was no spark. In me. In my words.
And here is something I know in the depths of my soul: the Muse appears when we provide a fertile, uncluttered space for it to breathe stories, designs, music to life. It inspires us when our creative heart and soul is fully open to its spirit.
But what happens if your muse disappears? What happens if your creative space is cluttered and lacking in nourishment? We pay the price. We lose the Muse.
And I don’t want to do that. If you’re still reading, I’ll bet you don’t either.
It’s time to put what I know back into practice. To try a different approach – to nourish my creative Self with rest, creative play, and the enjoyment of art created by others. To actively seek Moments of Joy and explore what they awaken in me.
And by sharing that process of rediscovery here, who knows, maybe I’ll inspire YOU as well as myself) …
Will you join me?
The need to be creative springs from deep inside me. Photography is one way I can meet this need … except it doesn’t stop with just taking a nice photo.
“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.” ― Robert Frank
When I started work at a local newspaper, I thought I could take pretty good pictures. What I learnt fast was that newspaper photography is an entirely different thing – you have to take eye-catching photos that hook the reader, because the reader’s eyes go to the image first. It’s like writing the first line of a book – it has to hook that reader in.
Over the years, I’ve sharpened my skills and I’ve discovered that, apart from taking photos of my loved ones, I love the finer details of my subjects. Flowers are one of my favourite subjects, but I’m also experimenting with objects found in and around the home. My macro lens is a prized possession.
I hope you enjoy the photos I share.
See my photography on social:
FREE GIFT FOR SUBSCRIBERS!
I’d love to send you a free eBook of UNDER HER SPELL. Simply sign up for my monthly e-newsletter and your copy will be delivered to your inbox.
By subscribing, you have access to my Advance Reader Team and beta reader call-outs, giveaways, cover reveals, “you-heard-it-here-first” updates about my writing journey, and more.