The Anti-Muse

It’s funny – in the past few days, I’ve seen several posts pop up on my reader feed about other writers whose muses have taken a hike. They’re not getting any writing done, and they’re failing at the whole, ‘push through it’/grown-up-pants/this-is-a-job approach.

And boy, howdy do I get that. That’s where I’ve been for a couple of weeks, now. Barely dragging ten words out of my fingers on some days. My concentration is shot, and my drive and inspiration are non-existent. Is it the time of year? Is there something in the air, the water, what?

My personal conflict with this, apart from that general slack-ass feel, is the whole ‘muse’ concept. I have, for years now, been very anti-muse. I don’t believe in it, and I think that attributing good writing and fresh ideas to some imaginary figure outside of yourself is risky at best. It releases you from responsibility during dry spells, but it also strips you of power and control.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I know that a lot of perfectly (mostly) sane writers don’t take the concept of muse literally. It’s just a term for inspiration for them, and I get that. Buuuuut – there are those who push it. It’s a very touchy area, I get that. And even as little as a year ago I was a lot more judgmental of them. I’ve since learned to keep my head down and focus on what works for me. Pulling away from the noise of community will do that. It’s like religion – I don’t talk it, except to those who are very close to me, or when someone uses their religion to step on my toes in an outward way.

The short – this post isn’t about your muse. It’s about mine.

Well, my anti-muse. Or whatever. Not even that, really. It’s about this flopping, floundering place of stagnation where I’m stuck and so are some of you, and I’m not getting shit done. UN-fortunately, not believing in The Muse means that my failure falls 100 percent on me. Which can be a bitch of a vicious cycle, kicking myself while I’m down and beating myself up over my suckage instead of simply clearly my mind and moving forward. I am working on that.

I don’t have a clean, neat answer, unfortunately. If I did, MAN would I be raking in the money. But I’m hoping that, like with some other things, maybe writing about it will unblock it. Or, hell, maybe should try to come up with a muse. A wicked, dark, amazon fairy in red and black with a riding crop instead of a magic wand. Yeah… hm… might not be such a bad plan…



2 responses to “The Anti-Muse

  1. Funny, I was just reading this blog by Studio Runner/Death Metal Guitarist and Bandleader/Atlanta Resident Eyal Levi about something similar:

    Me, I don’t think that people have *a* muse (well, except Stephen King who has one and it’s a dude) I think people pull inspiration from wherever. I think that a lack of creativity sometimes means that you’re bored, more than anything else. Even for people like me, change averse Libras, new shit turns folks on.

    It doesn’t have to be something big, it could be noticing something that you never noticed before in something you’ve seen a gajillion times. “I’m stuggling with creativity” could just be, “I need a new experience.”

    In other words, time for skydiving lessons.

  2. Yeah, I know that a lot of pros go on about new experiences feeding creativity. I’m sure that’s a big problem for me, the perpetual hermit. Skydiving might actually happen someday, once I’ve lost some of this weight, damnit.

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