As writers – no, as any creative type out there in this
insane asylum world – I think we’re insulting ourselves when we talk about capturing and keeping a muse.
There is no muse.
There is you.
You’re inspired, you’re helped by a Higher Power if you believe in such things (a deity, the universe, a spark of something, whatever you believe), you work hard, and enjoy it, and you write (or do whatever your brand of creativity is).
You don’t yank some robe wearing, fancy-shmancy, cocktail drinking, snobbish, childish, prudish, or sensually enslaving chick out of the ether and chain her to your desk. You don’t capture a muse. You don’t lure a muse. You don’t entice, beg to attend to you, leave food out for, sit around and wait for, write until you hope it’ll show up – a muse.
YOU put in the work.
You capture inspiration that works for you.
You find time, you find a reason, you enjoy, you feel driven – to write.
You write until you feel that magic. You write when you don’t feel it.
You do all of this.
I’m not trying to offend anyone who believes in finding their muse.
I simply think we’ve taken it way too freaking far. It’s gone from metaphoric to depressing.
It’s our responsibility to create the stories in our head into something magickal, fierce, lovable. We should get the credit for putting in the work.
I think we deserve to think better of ourselves.
We don’t need to wait for someone/something out of our control to saunter on in, decide we’re worth her/his time all of sudden, and lend a hand.
If a muse exists, it’s you. Its inside you. I’m not talking multiple personality disorder (which by the way is now DID). I’m talking you. If you want to use it metaphorically, go right ahead. But I’m tired of people talking like they’re not the amazingness behind their amazingness. We all draw inspiration from the world and people around us. But we’re the one dedicating time to what we’re doing.
So, if you must believe in a muse. Believe you’re your own muse.
I wrote this a few days ago when I entertained (for about half a day) the idea of writing one blog post a day in Rara’s November #nanopoblano. (I think I’d run out of things to talk about and probably get real boring. For some reason, I really like the idea of trying anyway.)
Anywho – afterward, I opened up “Zen in the Art of Creativity” by Ray Bradbury and started reading the next essay. Which happened to be on the ever-elusive muse.
In my opinion, his essay backs up my crazy ranting. To feed your muse is to always be hungry for life. Your muse is a collective of everything you’ve absorbed and stored. If I’m reading it correctly.
Meaning, your muse isn’t some creature you keep chained in the basement after you lure it and bash it over the head.
Your muse is everything which inspires you. Every breath you take in while you’re imagining. Your muse is every childlike awe. Every memory filled with angst or wonder.
Your muse is you. The hidden you. The real you. The you that screams inside your skull and heart when the fake you is speaking through a mask.
Your muse is inside you, behind your rib cage, peering out, waiting.
So stop selling yourself short.
If you want to feed your muse, figure out what you’re hungry for.