I’ve heard many discussions on the topics of muses. Are they real? What do they really mean? I ask you this. Have you ever uttered the words, “I can’t write right now. My muse isn’t speaking to me.” Well, I have. In fact, it happens to me a lot. The question begs, is it true, has my muse deserted me, or am I just too pre-occupied with other things to do the task at hand?
I have a very dear editor friend who told me that “muses are a load of $%^&!” That if you want to write, you just sit down and do it. That it has nothing to do with a muse and it’s all about you. That if you’re committed and want to produce, you need to suck it up and just write. I’ve kindly listened to this, but I have a different interpretation. Yes, I can sit down and just write, but will they be good words? Or just words? I truly believe that there’s this part of me, some inner essence that comes out when it’s feeling more creative than other times. I call it my muse, though in reality, it may very well just be my mood. Perhaps, and most likely, they are one and the same. You see, there are moments when I simply have no ideas in my head. Nothing compels me to write, to draw, to cook, or to create. Usually at those times I’m too tired, too busy, or too overwhelmed with life and I can’t string two words together that I’d ask someone to purchase. But, out of the blue, there are other times, and incredible moments, when I feel like I have this superpower and I get this great idea and get “in the zone” and can write for hours.It’s in these weird little bursts of internal creativity that make me believe I have a muse. For instance, I’ve never really drawn or been an artist, but for some reason I took up sketching a month ago and I feel like my little artistic muse has jumped out. I can’t honestly say I’m an artist. I can’t just sit and draw a person, or a scene, or sometimes even stick figures in a straight line. Even now, each time I pick up that sketching pencil, I don’t have that confidence that something brilliant will be produced (or forget about being brilliant, how about legible?). So I stare at my sketch pad until I feel the urge. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it isn’t, but when I feel that internal pull, I can’t do anything but try to answer it and in those moments, I do feel like I’ve been given a gift and my “muse” is talking to me. With her, I can do something I normally can’t seem to do on a daily basis.
I feel like a muse is a part of our personality. The part that is creative and reflective. I believe they’re real and if they’re ignoring you, maybe you need to take a break from whatever you’re forcing yourself to do. Maybe it’s the universe’s way of saying “come on, just give yourself a moment to not try to be brilliant all the time.” Step back and let it rest. Let things stew, because I believe those ideas and gifts will come to us when we’re ready to accept them. And that’s when our muse will set us free.