Who does it for YOU?
Muse wise, I mean. Maybe you already have one lolling about somewhere? Maybe you scoff at the very idea of a Muse or perhaps you are already a daughter of Zeus and can do your own musing thank you very much.
The necessity for one of these divine creatures may well depend on the sort of writer you are. There are those who splurge out words until they faint through word excess and then there are those who creak out one sentence at a time. To paraphrase Pam Johnson, the former are 'churners' and the latter are, 'tooth pullers'.
I lean towards the tooth pulling variety.
Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead Gene Fowler
|Just relax, this won't hurt a bit|
So, I try to imagine a being whose only desire is to inspire my writing.
Gone would be the walking, the vacuuming, toilet cleaning, useless note taking, hair tearing, blood letting – all those things which take up my thinking time when I should be churning out my story. I'm thinking, a Muse could be jolly efficient, like a literary short cut. Cut out the angst - just feed me the story, sister.
And I'm not the only one who thinks a Muse could be a good idea. Quite a few famous writers wanted them. Like Shakespeare:
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention
Alright, calm down Shakespeare, It's not like the Muse didn't visit you once or twice, unless the rumours are true and it wasn't you … but no, moving swiftly on!
Jonathan Swift definitely had one:
Then, rising with Aurora's light, The Muse invoked, sit down to write; Blot out, correct, insert, refine, enlarge, diminish, interline
Brilliant. Jonathan clearly had a direct line although I couldn't be doing with Aurora's light because that particular Goddess is just a tad too early for my brain. Come to think of it, I wouldn't be keen on a Muse of fire which sounds a little bit … hot.
|Damn you for waking me so early!|
|Psst, have you heard the one about …?|
|The bloke from Being Human|
Even now I suspect that the loveliness of these lovelies would prove too much for my tiny head. I would come over all unnecessary and zero writing would be done. In time, I'd be forced to reconsider the shape of my Muse.
What to do? Well, maybe get away from the whole Muse in human form and turn to the animal world. I mean, I like the look of hairy guinea pigs with their eighties hair dos. Long feathered chickens have the same effect, certain breeds of sheep and to a lesser degree, Highland cattle. Amusing, for sure, and no doubt many hilarious stories would follow but this Muse lacks a certain gravitas or actually any gravitas at all.
|What's not to love?|
Take a summer's day, a velvet green hill, lie back on the picnic blanket and let the fluffy Muse do her work. Lovely. Except for when it's not summer and there are ants and the fluffy Muse starts to rain … No, I need a Muse I can rely on.
|Clearly, this picnic is seriously out of control.|
Photo from Flickr by Joanne and Matt
Different tack then. Perhaps it's best to let the the Muse find you. I suggest the following:
- Play hard to get. 'Muse, me? Oh no, I didn't want one of those,' laugh airily and walk away. She'll come running.
- A blood sacrifice may entice. Use your own blood.
- Tempt her with chocolate, wine, chicken and chips – whatever you know she fancies. Obviously eat them yourself, it's all part of the plan.
Turns out I will have to be content with amusing myself. Oh look, a cloud shaped like David Beckham! I can see him – can you?
|Can you see?|
Photo from Flickr by Keo 101