I resisted the idea of a Muse for a long time. However the deeper I delved into my craft the more aware of the idea of one I became. After reading a handful of books on creativity and writing, it seems the Muse is indeed associated with the professional. Breathing a sigh of relief I acknowledged her presence and in doing so have gained a significant increase in my writing output.
The Muse is different for every artist and all I can do is talk about mine and how she works. Mine is a she. She is my alter ego. As I pondered on her I realised she has been with me my entire life. I was one of those kids who never lost the magic of imagination coming into adulthood and she is the source and inspiration of my imagination. Since recognising her, she has shown herself more clearly. She is the gate keeper between my conscious and subconscious and she alone is the only one who allows me to stand at the gate and watch what pours forth into my conscious mind. The subconscious is where she works and I am always delighted to see what she has brought for me to play with.
Many people think the Muse must appear in order for the work to happen. That an artist sits and waits for the Muse and then, struck to the ground with inspiration, gets to work. That is never how the relationships works. For the artist must begin the work, alone and continue doing the work until the Muse arrives. The Muse has no time for hacks or wannabes. She only works with artists and a true artist must prove themselves worthy enough to work with the Muse. They must work on their own, day after day until the Muse is satisfied that a partnership can commence, knowing that what she gives the artist will in fact be transformed into art.
Everyday I sit at my desk and write. On my own, doing the work with what I have and then while I work my Muse will impart a diamond of an idea, drop it front and centre into my conscious mind and I rejoice at its genius and work with it straight away. The idea takes my story in a new and different direction and the story is richer because of it. She opened the gates and allowed an idea, already present to enter because she knows I work and knows I will put it good use.
Now we have a solid working relationship, because that is what it is. A relationship. I have proven to her that I am trustworthy of her genius. That I work hard, am committed, reliable and will take on what she says and sculpt it into art. She doesn’t only appear at my desk. In fact more and more she appears when I least expect. Like when I am simply doing the dishes or making the bed, or just sitting out in the sun relaxing. Those moments when my mind wonders off into another world is when she opens those gates as far as she can and the most volume comes into my mind.
She does this only once. My Muse does not repeat herself, so if I fail to get down the bubble of an idea that she presents to me in those moments, they are lost, never to return and I have lost too many to allow that to happen again. So now, when it occurs I literally drop everything and go, to my desk, to a pen and paper or to the notes in my phone if I am out, mumbling an apology to whoever I am with, but I must capture what has been gifted. She knows as long as I have recorded the idea I will use it when the time to work comes again. Which is how this post came to be. Washing the dishes and, boom, idea bomb.
Acknowledge the Muse, get to work and keep going. You must prove yourself first and when you do the Muse will appear and it will be the beginning of a creative partnership that will last all of your days.