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.”
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!