Muse Schmuse

     In classic mythology, the muses were the nine daughters of Zeus, each of whom exercised control over an art. Today, we think of the muse as anything that inspires artists and thinkers in their craft. We, as writers, stare at the large (and ever-growing) blank sheet of paper (or white and vibrating screen) and think blithely to ourselves, “When the muse sings to me, I’ll create works of art the likes of which this tiny world has never seen.”

     Fiddle sticks.

     Writing is about writing. Sitting down and doing it. Right now. With your planned or spare minutes. Filling paper. Putting fingers to keyboard.

     How many great writers have encouraged us aspirants to just set down the story and worry about fixing it later? How many great stories might never have been written if the author had waited for the muse? Many great writers have encouraged novices to simply let the writing flow, neither waiting for inspiration nor stopping to edit. It’s the mental equivalent on vomiting your thoughts all over the place and wiping it clean later. Hmmm, that’s not a pretty thought, is it? Our first writings aren’t all that pretty, either. C’mon, admit it.

     I would propose that this advice should in itself be our muse. We writers should write, even in our random five-minutes free, for years and years, in the hopes that, someday, we’ll get it right.

     Why do I say this? As much for my inspiration as anyone else’s. We writers — well, we humans in general, I suppose — hope for exactitude and perfection so very far ahead of the time needed to achieve it.

     Here’s to shooing the muse! Here’s to covering pages with ink!

3 replies
  1. Rebecca Laffar-Smith
    Rebecca Laffar-Smith says:

    *chuckles* I love your final line.

    I became so curious over these strange muses and their rather obvious non-existance once that I actually looked them up in more detail. There were nine daughters of Mnemosyne (the muses):

    Calliope (epic poetry)
    Clio (history)
    Erato (love poetry)
    Euterpe (lyric poetry)
    Melpomene (tragedy)
    Polyhymnia (songs to the gods)
    Terpsichore (dance)
    Thalia (comedy)
    Urania (astronomy)

    If we take note of the fact that there are none for novelists (other than tragedy, history, and comedy) we might begin to understand why many writers will sit around for eternity, not writing, while they wait for their muse. Having said that, given the wealth of horrendous ‘love poetry’ and dancers in the world perhaps it is further proof that the muses do not exist. *grins*

    Anyway, thanks for such an inspiring post. I’m starting from the back of your archives and working forward so, heads up, you’re about to have a comment storm. *chuckles*

  2. Rebecca Laffar-Smith
    Rebecca Laffar-Smith says:

    *shudders* ICK! I can’t believe you linked that poem. lol It’s years old and more of a ditty than anything. In fact it’s been years since even I’ve read it. It’s actually kind of cute. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    You must have googled me. *hides* The account that poem is under isn’t my current one with writing.com. If you want to see my more recent poetry you can find it here: http://www.writing.com/main/portfolio.php?folder_id=1144335?rfrid=rklaffarsmith

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