Monday, March 29, 2010

The Writing Muse

What does yours look like? How does s/he work?

We, as writers, are a fickle group. If we can't write, we blame our muse, s/he has temporarily left us, forcing us to fumble about in the darkness upon the paper to which we are to place our words. If we are able to write, we have a myriad of phrases to describe the moment...

S/He is sitting on our shoulder.
S/He is whispering in our ear.
S/He is sitting across from us, dictating.
S/He is placing the words in our minds like the notes of a perfect concerto.
S/He is screaming at us to write the damned words.
S/He is torturing us, fire on our fingers which only typing will extinguish.

Okay, you noticed the "s/he" in the above sentences. I always thought the muses were female and I am guessing that is due to my studies of Greek mythology. Originally, maybe they were but only because men were the creative types and women were the family and not required to ...

No matter how I tried to finish the above sentence, I could see myself deeper and deeper in a quagmire and sinking fast.

Today's writers are of both sexes and their accompanying muses are what they feel comfortable with. My one friend has a muse who he says is a miniature faun; yes, part man, part goat. Another friend told me her muse was a butt naked stud with the eyes of James Dean.

My muse? Well, I discovered mine changes sex, likes to wear costumes or disguises depending on my moods and what I'm writing. Sometimes I have a clown up there, sitting on my shoulder. Yes, I'm of the shoulder persuasion. Anyway, I've had a clown, a spaceman, a pirate, a naughty imp, and the stereotype Greek goddess in sheer silks, sometimes with wings. Most of the time I would say she appears to look like Sophia Loren. The voice is usually a soft whisper in my ear, but not necessarily all the time; I have been yelled at.

So, tell me about your muse. Tell us how they appear and work with you.

(as a side note; consider this a creative writing assignment... just don't tell your muse!)


  1. Your post reminded me of a you tube where Elizabeth Gilbert gives a great talk about muses and creativity: Just re-watched it.


  2. Tell you about my muse? How simple. I know her. Oh how I know her.

    I sat at the computer, my brain obsessed with a notion that I couldn’t put my finger on, when she stepped out of my mind, fully formed.

    300 years young, her face frozen in youth like a doll, she appeared eleven. Thick red curls that bounce when she walked the shadow filled streets, her bright red eyes glint a hint of mischievousness, yet they have a passion tempered with age old wisdom. Her fangs could be called cute, except for their deadly points.

    Every time the moon grows full I feel her euphoria for the night. She’s love to hunt as a bat, wolf, or maybe even fly in her human shape. No deer or squirrel could outrace her. No bear or badger could out fight her. No mammal is safe from her thirst for blood, except humans. Sure, she feels the craving, but herself worth is far too strong.

    Oh the tales she tells! It hard to get them all down. She’s met so many famous people, rescued so many lost children. Fought so many monsters. The most fascinating tales are the ones where she lo0st the fight, failed the mission and completely screwed up. For an immortal being with super human abilities, she sure feels all too human.

    Yes, my muse is strong. She propelled me into this adventure I never knew I could do. I can’t imagine my world without Annabelle Foresight, and I wouldn’t want to.

  3. Please forgive my spelling and grammar errors. It's been a long day.

  4. @Jack: Annabelle is one fantastic muse for you. I had the opportunity to read one of her tales and I enjoyed it.

  5. Thanks Bob. I just hope all these edits are getting the book to a better place. I mean, I know they are, but after so long, it's hard to be optimistic.