Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meeting With My Muse

May I tell you about someone else?

Today I am not going to talk about a specific person, but about a group of mythical persons with which writers are intimately familiar.

The muses.

In the ancient world, they were thought to be "the source of knowledge" and informed literature and the arts, as well as other disciplines like science.  We see many references to them throughout history.

The following is from the one and only Shakespeare, Sonnet 38.
"How can my Muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument?"
This is how it often feels when, as writers, we are filled with creative zeal.  It often feels as if the words are not coming from us, but are rather flowing through us.  In this moment, we are not the creators, but rather the instrument of a muse we cannot necessarily see.  It may ultimately be illusory, but the power of that moment sticks with us nonetheless.

We may not believe in the existence of the muses as physical beings.  More often, we call a specific person or object that inspires us our muse.  Muses are called such due to their ability to inspire us.

But for a moment, let's pretend the muses ARE real.  What would yours look like?  Would it have a name?
RGB Stock Photo, user mzacha

Mine would be difficult to pinpoint, because inspiration is mean to me.  It withholds itself when I have the time to write, then it leaps out at me when I'm not paying attention and shouts "BOO!"

Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that my muse is a shapeshifter.  That may explain why I write science fiction.  She returns to me with some of the most bizarre concepts.  Concepts that are so out there that I have to stop and think "What?  How in the WORLD do you expect me to do THAT?"

She's sassy though.  She fights back and says "Listen, I'm just doing my job.  If you don't like it, find someone else!  But I must warn you.  I'm not sure anyone else would be as patient with you as I've been."

Pleiades in her other incarnation.
Image from
I sigh in defeat.  She's probably right.

Her name is usually Pleiades, probably because the seven sisters cover most of her multiple personalities.  However, sometimes she irritates me by pulling another name out of her frustratingly stylish hat.

That's another thing.  How in the world is my muse so stylish when I'm not?  It makes no sense!

I think her favorite place to live is in my coffee cup, though.  She frequently catches me off guard there.  One time she jumped out and hit me so hard that I nearly spilled the hot liquid all over my lap.

Rude, but I forgave her for it.  That was one hell of a creative night.

Whew!  That's enough fun for one day.  For those of you who read that all the way through without questioning my sanity, I thank you.


  1. Fun post. I wrote about my muse last Thursday. :)

  2. I adored this post. I've honestly not put a lot of thought into my muse...I've always considered her a million forms at once. I feel like she takes form of the atmosphere around me. When the sunset looks especially beautiful, that's her. Anything that catches my eye and holds my thoughts for a while, that's her. It's as if she takes a moment or an item and makes it glow. She's everywhere and sometimes nowhere all at once. It's just a matter of me opening my eyes and taking that moment to breathe her in.

  3. This was so much fun, I like your muse :)

    I think mine spends a lot of time in my coffee cup too.