Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Muse musings

When I was younger, about 13 or so, I believed in a muse. It wasn't a serious belief, but the day-dreaming belief of a burgeoning writer. He had a name, and when I was keeping a hand-written journal (years before I joined LJ, and at a time when I couldn't maintain a journal for more than a few weeks) consistently for months, I trailed off from writing about my day-to-day life, to writing a story. I'd decided to write it as if my muse were telling the story.

Nowadays, a muse seems almost synonymous (in my own mind) with some of the other topics I've been writing about lately: inspiration and ideas. It's a motivating force; it helps when you get stuck in one scene, so you can move forward or jump ahead; it's there to offer ideas; it has some unquantifiable quality that helps you write.

It's a nice thought. Maybe I'm just in a cynical mood, but I don't quite see how the concept of a muse helps a writer, other than to say 'I couldn't write because my muse abandoned me.' I visit Sherwood Smith's LJ fairly regularly, and she linked to a great post about one's muse, and its fickle nature. I really enjoyed the post, but instead of equaling "Godfrey" with muse, I filled in the name with Writing. Writing was sometimes hard to come by, when I'd open a new Word doc but the words wouldn't come. It was an idea, or inspiration that slipped by me, or it was just that I failed myself and wasn't trying hard enough, perhaps.

I'm not saying the idea of a muse is wrong or useless, far be it, it's not my place to comment on others' beliefs, but I don't know that it works for me anymore. I think even at 13, my muse was more a character, a wizard, mature but young, sitting in a well-made, but old robe and telling this story about a princess and a unicorn with attitude. I like the thought that my writing comes from me, it's my accomplishment. My failures, yes, but also my successes.

~shrugs~ I suppose this is just one of those meandering, thinking out loud posts. I still need to make up a post, and I do have some topics simmering. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

In random writing news: I finally found a Halloween story idea that's staying with me. I've started writing and I mostly know where it's going. (I just need to decide how I want it to end, I'm thinking more mysterious than gruesome. We'll see.)

Happy writing everyone,
*Painting of the Greek Muses with Apollo on Mt. Helio, by Claude Lorrain

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