writerjenn — wrote on April 10th, 2012 at 09:07 pm
Occasionally while roaming the internetz, I'll see someone tearing into the idea of the Muse. Generally what they're tearing into is the idea of some inspirational sprite that will only alight when conditions are perfect, like a speshul snowflake landing on the writer's (immaculately groomed and glitter-dusted) eyelashes.
And their rage makes me laugh.
Because when I talk about the Muse, I'm mostly kidding. Longtime readers of this blog may remember imaginary conversations I've had with the Muse, which were ways for me to complain about this crazy avocation in an (I hope) entertaining way.
But here's the aspect of the Muse about which I'm serious: She isn't some airy sprite who floats into the writing office sprinkling fairy dust and bestseller ideas. For me, she's that inner voice that says, You must write this story. As in: You must WRITE, instead of the fifty other useful things you could be doing. As in: You must write THIS story and no other, because this is the story that is nagging to be told. As in: YOU must write this story, because nobody else will write it quite this way.
The Muse is not sweet and fragile. She's tough. She has an attitude. She puts the story first. She tells you to for Pete's sake stop worrying about what everyone else is going to think about your work, and just write it already. Yes, tell the scary parts and the sad parts and the parts that will make people squirm. Be fearless, or at least write as if you are.