A Request For Psychiatric Help, Or: My Muse Is Killin' Me

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 16.884% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I require your help because my S&M Muse hates me.
Which is to say that while others have a delicate muse that leads them gently to poetic fields covered in dew, I have a muse who grabs me by the ear and then jumps up and down on my stomach until I vomit out a story.
I’d like to tell you I have a choice in which tale I write next, but I really don’t.  My muse, subconsciously, has a knack for finding my weakest spot and forcing me to write a story that hinges on precisely that weakness.  Am I bad at characterization?  Write a story with next to no plot.  Bad at theme?  Write a story that doesn’t make any sense without the underlying theme to glue it together.  Bad at prose?  Here’s a tale that won’t work at all unless the ending is poetic and vivid.
In this case, my muse is kicking me firmly in the balls, because my weakest point overall as a writer?
My loathing of research.
I think that’s why I write fantasy and SF, because who’s to say I’m wrong?  Physics?  Oh, don’t get on me about physics, as long as the characters are compelling nobody will care if the physics are gobbledegook.  And magic’s just magic, you can’t correct me on that. I just wanna write, man, and Wikipedia’s right here, so why do I have to look anything up?
Except what I woke up with this morning was a horror novel about a psychiatric ward.  My muse wants me to do this.  And for this to work, I have to have that Stephen King-ish attention to detail where all the little bits are well-researched and fall out right.
I’m actually going to have to read books to do this one… which is where you come in.  Hopefully.
What I need are books on what it’s like as a psychiatric student in residence – preferably memoirs, so I can get not just what it’s like to learn to become a therapist/psychiatrist/psychologist who deals with patients.  I’m looking for books with not just a focus on dealing with the patients, but the experience of what it’s like to be with your fellow students as you take this journey – that pressure-cooker experience of “This is my life, starting” and the types of folks you run into along the way.  I’ve read tons of books like this about surgeons and nurses, but none in the mental health field.
So anything you can recommend to me on the topic would be good.  I’d be grateful.  Intensely grateful.  And maybe my muse would stop elbowing me in the back of the skull.

1 Comment

  1. Jazmina Lazarus
    Dec 28, 2011

    I’m a casual writer but an avid Larper and my Larp muse demands a very high level of detail for every one of my characters. I now know which Asylum was open in NYC in 1824, who ran it, when they died, who was admitted, and a million other totally useless details about that asylum and a series of riots in California in 1960.

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