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Ladies and gentlemen, I have an imaginary friend.  Those of you who regularly read my Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts have already met her.  She’s my muse.  Here’s her picture:

And here’s her picture sitting in my writing zone, next to my coffee mug full of pens.  I always have a picture of my muse with me when I’m writing.

But not all writers believe in muses.  In fact, not all writers even approve of the belief in muses.  I was recently listening to a writing podcast where the host went off on a tirade against the very concept of muses.

You can’t sit around waiting for your muse, this podcast host said.  You’ll never get any writing done that way.  Writing is work.  You have to do it every day, whether you feel inspired or not!

Of course my muse and I have heard all this before.  Perhaps you have too.  But I think all this anti-muse stuff is based on a fundamental misunderstanding about how muses do their jobs.  You see, my muse and I have something like a contractual relationship.

I do have to do my writing every day.  That’s the promise I made to my muse, and in exchange she has promised to keep bringing me the shiniest of shiny new ideas.  If I don’t fulfill my side of the bargain, why should my muse fulfill hers?

So writers, you can’t sit around being lazy and expect your muse to do all the work for you.  Show some initiative.  Go write.  It might feel like a struggle, but the muse will reward you in the end.

P.S.: And muses, remember you have an obligation to your writer too.  If your writer is making a real effort, do not be stingy with the good ideas!

29 responses »

  1. I think you have an excellent relationship with your muse and those podcasts can stuff it. *wink*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t get why some people are so against the idea of a muse. It’s not like writers who claim to have them are slacking off because of said muse. I think it’s just a fun way to talk about inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Muse, no muse… noodles, no noodles… whatever works for you to create is cool. I personally don’t have a muse, but maybe that’s because I see writing as a gig, not a calling. (I bet muses hate people like me.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. emaginette says:

    I just figured we all had our methods. Each one personal. Each one unique and deserving of respect. Never occurred to me to dis a muse. Hey, I’m not sure I have one, but my ideas keep flowing.

    So I might. 😉

    Love the btw.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debbie Johansson says:

    I have to agree with what others have said – do whatever works. ‘You do you’, as the saying goes. 😉 Love the pic of your muse!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. K.J. says:

    You have a very nice looking muse. I can’t say I have anything in particular to call a muse, but if I did, she was sitting on my shoulder today. Many days I feel like I’m slogging through a slough and that is what I’m used to. I push through it and then I’m rewarded with days like today.

    I hope everyone gets their rewards!!

    Write On!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I better get some new ideas then as I have been writing a lot lately!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yay for having a contract with your muse. While I have come to the conclusion that forcing myself to write every day doesn’t work for me, my muse and I get plenty done in the time we have! It’s good to find what works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • J.S. Pailly says:

      You are absolutely right. You have to do what works for you. And I’ll admit I do occasionally take a day off. Otherwise I’d burn myself out. I don’t want that, and I don’t think my muse would what that either!

      Like

  9. debscarey says:

    I like the idea of the two-way obligation. I have days when the inspiration positively flows and if that’s my muse working overtime, then clearly I must remember to offer her my sincere thanks, otherwise she – quite rightly – won’t turn up for work another day.

    I’ve been doing some work on creating an ideal client avatar – I may bunk off for a bit and create myself a muse. I wonder what she (or he) will look like 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ahtdoucette says:

    I love this! I don’t know if I “believe in muses” or not, but I am open to the message. Here’s to a long and beneficial contractual relationship. I do agree that we need that spark and a sense of whimsy too. Perfect. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love your post! I believe in muses as well but have kept mine locked away because I thought no one felt this way but you do! So, I think it high time I let my muse out and get to know her! Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Damyanti Biswas says:

    Do what works for YOU best

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Juneta says:

    Love the pic of your muse. I believe in Muses. Great post. Happy Belated IWSG!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lidy says:

    Well said.

    I think my muse and I were on a break most of 2019. But now our bond is tight again and as I’ve finally pinned down the genre of my WIP she’s been bringing me gold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • J.S. Pailly says:

      That’s wonderful! I had a similar experience a year or two ago. I was a little confused about what I wanted to do with my writing (and with life in general), but once I figured it out the muse came right back to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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