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March 3, 2014
Posted at 1:07 pm
Updated: March 3, 2014 - 1:47 pm
 

A thought about the muse

I've mulled this over for a while and I know I'm not breaking any new ground, but I think it needs to be said (as much for me as for anyone else).

The Muse.

I think that as writers, giving the concept of a 'muse' any traction in our daily lives is a mistake. Writers do not have some special well of creativity denied to others.

"You write? Oh, you're so creative, I could never do that."

Have you heard that, have you said it? I don't buy it. Everyone is creative. Preparing a meal is creative, so too is carpentry, welding, construction, and even finance. We all lie creatively. Writes have no exclusive .

Writing is the result of discipline and hard work, and yes, sparks of creativity. But, to give that process an identity, to anthropomorphize it as a thing apart from ourselves is asking for trouble.

Inspired by an idea, credit your muse. Suffering from writers block? Your story fell apart at the mid-point? Wrote your plot into a corner? Blame your muse.

This shifting of responsibility is a crutch, nothing more.

No, you didn't stop writing because your muse abandoned you. You stopped writing because you lack the discipline to sit down at the keyboard and do the work. It doesn't matter if it's not any good. Write anyway. If you don't treat writing as a skill that must be practiced, then go ahead and call on the mythical Muses of old for inspiration -- because the story isn't going to write itself.



Okay, that's out of the way. I've got no excuses to keep me from writing this next chapter, right? :-)