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:~: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 :~:

Musing on the Muse

Just back from a mini-conference over the weekend where I took a course called Mining the Muse from Mary Hershey.

Confession: I don't have a muse. I've never had a muse. I don't even understand the terminology or ideology or any other ology to it.

Okay, I actually do understand the mythology behind it because Mary explained that the word muse comes from Greek mythology and relates to a sisterhood of goddesses who embody the arts and inspire the creation process.

So, now I know where it comes from, but not much else. And I still don't have one -- not a solid depiction of one in my mind anyway. Evidently, most people have some sort of mental image of their muse--one that typically develops organically without much effort on the author's side.

Linda's muse is a Cheetos-eating, sweatpants-wearing...um, I'm not sure what it/he/she is actually. And I believe it/he/she changes depending on mood. (Lin, you'll obviously have to expand on this and fix my blunders.)

Elisabeth's muse is a cargo pant, army-boot clad woman who kicks ass and takes names. (E, you'll obviously have to expand on this and fix my blunders.)


Mary explained the muse-author relationship, where the author does the heavy lifting--creates and sticks to a schedule, honors the creative process, feeds him/her/it, while the muse kicks back with a glass of wine, spewing inspiration when the mood strikes. Mary also gave tips on how to cultivate your muse, then connect with it regularly.

I'm trying. Not seeing much in the way of results yet, but I'm still trying.

Do you have a muse? What does he/she/it look and act like? When does your muse come to you? How do you tap into it? Give us the scoop on your muse!



Blogger Linda Winfree said...

LOL, J. My "muse" is an old in-joke. She lives in an imaginary basement and when she's not in the mood to inspire, she wears sweats and eats Cheetos. When she's ready to provide inspiration, gauzy, diaphanous robes.

But do I need a Muse to write? Nope. I need the self-discipline to keep my butt in the chair and the mind focused.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

I need the self-discipline to keep my butt in the chair and the mind focused.

Yeah -- that's the heavy lifting part of the deal. :-)

6:29 AM  
Blogger B.E. Sanderson said...

If I had to give my muse a face, it'd have to be a hunky eunuch who brings me fruity drinks (inspiration) by a pool under lush tropical foliage with soft ocean breezes. (i.e. he's there when I need him, and absent when I don't).

6:34 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

LOLOL, a hunky eunuch.

Love it!

12:22 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

My cargo pant-wearing, tank-top-toting, military boot-clad kick ass muse is definitely living up to her reputation these days. ;)

I don't know that I believe in a muse. I think it's fun to pretend though (hey, I am a fiction writer). I definitely know when something's working or not (that's when the muse is with me??) and when it's not. But I think it has more to do with me, what I'm doing and how I'm going about things than some mythological entity that controls my writing. Because the honest truth is I'm the only one who controls my writing.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

E, you have been on fire lately!!

I need to hop a plane to Oregon and rub shoulders with you. Or better yet, pop that cargo pant-wearing, tank-top-toting, military boot-clad kick ass muse on a plane and get her the heck down here!

3:19 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

My DH is my muse. I can't seem to write without the guy there with me, sitting across from me reading his books. I just love the guy. :-) He truly makes my writing possible. (He even helps cash the check, so he gets paid for his part!)

10:29 PM  

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