The Silence of the Muse

Creator: Daeng Buasand – “Write Life”

Suggested Listening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpsDegqioVA

Grrrrrrr!  Today my muse is giving me the silent treatment!  I hate it when she does this.

It’s usually because we disagree over what’s deemed to be publish worthy.

“This isn’t quite right,” I say.  “It doesn’t flow.  You know, I’m just not feeling it.  How do you think the audience will?”

“Such a cop out,” says the muse, “the  truth of the matter is you’re just too chicken.  You’re more concerned with what people might think of you than being true to your work.”

“Excuse me?” I ask incredulously.  “The last time I checked work is a four letter word that has the concept of compensation attached to it at the end of a long day!”

“That’s your problem!  You always have to have things right now!  An ant has more courage than you!”

“Shut up!”  I mutter.  I ball up another one of her ideas and throw it in the trash.

“Fine then!  Sabotage yourself!” and POOF!  She’s gone.  Maybe what we were fleshing out together was better than I thought, now that I think about it.

It doesn’t matter now; she’s gone.  Invisible.   Maddeningly silent.   Fine then, indeed!  Pages get typed, edited, revised, and then filed again into an enlarging file titled “Unfinished”.    It could just as well be titled, “Unworthy”.

Hours pass.  Intermittent flashes of inspiration hit when I’m away from my desk and abruptly leave upon my return.  Now the day is over, and I’m mad that there isn’t anything I feel confident about publishing.    This is the divine torture of the artist:

Mistaking the value of the creation higher than the value of the creator.

The artist’s esteem can also be easily crushed by the future perception of an audience not yet known.    Artists insure the field of psychiatry will continue to stay prosperous.

I was about to cry, and then a little voice inside me rose up and let me know, just like my writing today, I am unfinished.  But that is a far cry from unworthy. 

Never mix up the two.    Even when your muse isn’t on speaking terms with you.

I know she’ll come back; she always does.

Oh look, she must have come back.  She just scampered across my playlist and left me this song as a peace offering.  I think we’re back together.  🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jloQ6xsx3bE

“Unwritten” by Natasha Beddingfield

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3 thoughts on “The Silence of the Muse

  1. Every writer should read this post, Liz!!! All writers struggle with this. Truth is that writing must be an outlet of our creativity, and it must satisfy US first, before it can grow and be enjoyed by others. ‘We should be our first readers’, explained a speaker at a conference I attended last year, and he was absolutely right. For one thing, we can’t make everyone happy; for second, if we focus too much on what others expect of us, we lose connection with our muse. Write for the sheer joy of writing, without worrying about how your creation will be received later on; chances are, if it is good enough that YOU would read it, others will, too. 🙂

  2. And isn’t it just amazing how, from the midst of feeling the imagined cold shoulder of some future audience, a brilliant piece emerges resonating with a community of others who’ve felt the same. Thanks for making the fine distinction b/t “unfinished” and “unworthy.”

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