Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Muse (eye roll)

Many writers talk about creative muses. When talk turns to The Muse, I usually roll my eyes, but I understand the sentiment behind the belief. No writer is sure where stories come from. Creativity is a gift that comes and goes without warning, so blaming and thanking mercurial, mysterious being for it seems almost logical.

Like I said - I don't believe in muses. Every time I evoke them (in jest, of course) I feel like a turbaned, fringed-and-velvet draped diva emoting in the parlor. I won't try to explain how creativity works. Even Stephen King tried and failed in his book On Writing. All I know is that it either flows, or it doesn't.

Right now, it doesn't.

This is why writers need writer friends. I can tell the SO that I'm having trouble writing, and he'll be sorry because he knows it bugs me, and because I won't stop pacing around the house when he's trying to concentrate on his pornos foreign art films, but he has no real sense of what I'm missing. Lucky for me, I have writer friends, and some of them will even give up an hour or more of their weekend to commiserate with me. Misery loves company, so of course the writer I called was in a similar situation. It was sort of like Orpheus leading Eurydice out of the Underworld, but without a definitive ending.

The funny thing is that I've already told myself everything my writer friend said. Intellectually, I get it, but it isn't hitting me at an emotional level. I know I'm letting a tiny setback get to me. I'm dwelling on something I should just let go. That's what I keep telling myself. But it doesn't work. Yet somehow, when it comes out of his mouth, it resonates. Maybe because he phrases it as Buddhist philosophy. I tend to talk to myself in the honeyed tones of a pissed-off drill sergeant.

Now, nothing as changed. My situation is the same. The problem that got me down still exists and will never truly go away. No muse suddenly appeared to offer words of encouragement and inspiration. The only thing that's changed is my mindset. Yes, I'm still down, but I have it in better prospective. It's amazing how much good a long, sympathetic chat can do. So even if I don't feel like it, tomorrow, I'm going to force myself to write for a while. I have to. My inner drill sergeant is already whispering sweet words of a different kind of inspiration into my ear - like that it's time to drag my diva-emo ass off the fainting couch.


Amanda Earl said...

hate to tell you this...friends can be muses too ;)

Kathleen Bradean said...

Arrrgh! *plugs fingers into ears* La la la, la la lalalala. I can't hear you. *sticks tongue out*

He's probably already rolling his eyes that I likened him to Orpheus, even though the name fits in many ways. (While I bear no resemblence even in a simile to Eurydice) I can't wait to tell him he's a muse too. He'll probably slam his virtual lyre over my virtual head and tell me to go to Hades.....

Helen said...

Hmmm. My muse is usually a really good cup of coffee. I call her Caffeinna, the goddess of knowledge at 3 AM.