15 January 2013

A letter to my Muse

Dear Muse,

Help me out here a little, please. Work with me. You are a mischievous Muse: you come to me in the shower or while I'm driving or on a walk when you know damned well I can't write anything down. And yet when I'm sitting here during my scheduled writing time you hide from me. All those awesome ideas you brought while I was unavailable to write have fled from my head and I'm stuck with a blank page and a feeling like it's all there just out of reach, if only I could figure out how to get to it.

I don't want to dominate you, Muse, but neither do I want to be dominated by you. What would it look like to partner with you around writing? To have a balanced and healthy relationship with you?

I can show up. I can set aside time and create space for creating. I can ask--never demand--that you to show up and help me out. I can invite you in at a time that works for me rather than being a slave to your whims, you see? Partnering. And it might be that the time I've set aside doesn't work for you. In which case I can hope that you'll come the next time I'm available.

Because you see, Muse, I do value you greatly and love spending time with you, but I'm not always available to write. Especially since at this time in my life I need to engage in activities that produce cash flow more quickly than writing can.

I hear you whispering that you would make me rich. It's not that I don't believe you, but it takes much longer for the money from writing to materialize than the money from the other parts of my business, and I need to pay the bills in the meantime. And frankly my perception of you is that you're not entirely dependable.

Maybe it's just that I haven't gotten to know you well enough: I don't understand the rhythms behind your comings and goings; I don't yet understand what you need. Or maybe I drove you away for too long or had you caged and you grew weak. But whatever the cause, the effect is that I can't count on you to show up regularly. Yet.

Which is all to explain why I've reserved particular chunks of time to hang out with you rather than making myself available just whenever you decide to show up. This needs to be an equal partnership, and it isn't that if everything is on your terms alone. It doesn't mean I don't value or love you. It just means I need to pay the bills.

And so, my Muse, I invite you to be with me now and guide me in one of my WIPs until 5/5:30pm, at which time I have committed to something else, and then I invite you to be with me again around 8:30pm tonight until I get too tired to write anymore. I hope you will decide to grace me with your presence while I am available. And if not, we'll try again tomorrow.

With much love,

[Note: She did not show up to help me with my stories the other day when I wrote this. I think she was sulking or processing or something.]


  1. The devious yet beautiful muse... Always elusive, always trouble!
    Good luck with your Muse Sione. I think my muse must be off with your muse laughing over a pint or a glass of wine.

    PS.. Waterproof portable digital recorder for those moments when you otherwise unable to stop and write.

  2. Shower crayons I hear are quite helpful.
    My muse is usually of seducing someone else's female Muse. Last time he went missing, he came back completely naked, dripping wet and smelling of chlorine. I do believe a pool scene was born that day.
    Ultimately, patience is key, because when she shows up, be prepared to write until your fingertips go numb.

  3. I saw a shower notebook with special pencil online. I'm totally thinking about getting it!