Wednesday, 10 March 2010

That's Entertainment

My muse is like Lazarus. I'd hoped for one of those classically-draped, voluptuous-nymph type muses not dissimilar to the one on the left, but I went and got a dead guy. And he's about as forthcoming as a corpse.

I know some writers' muses never stop yammering away but I have to resurrect mine every single time, and if I look away for a moment, he dies another death. Sometimes I start the raising ritual and he comes leaping out of the ground with something to say, but most times he's changed the rules and the process becomes longer and more esoteric, and when he does finally show he doesn't say much at all.

But the fact is he needs me as much as I need him, so we work it out.

And I'm not complaining. Even though I know you can earn more on the dole than the average writer makes in a year, even though I understand you'd struggle to make up the numbers for a small dinner-party with authors who make a living from their work.

So why do I do it?

Well, it's to do with something Lazarus knows well. Our time here is finite, and there's nothing like a whiff of your own mortality to put a fire in your belly. Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. I didn't say that, but I wish I had. It was Pablo Picasso, and I'm not going to argue with him.


  1. My darn muse mutters and then refuses to repeat himself clearly. Like Benicio Del Toro's character in The Usual Suspects.

  2. My muse picks times to whisper to me when I can't listen as I'm being a busy mother, or I'm in the bath or I'm at a parents evening.
    The whispers are faint at times, I wonder whether there's a message behind that...

  3. I once thought about getting a dictaphone for moments like that, Hemmie, but I think I'd feel too weird whispering into one on the bus - and anyway, I have to drag old Musey kicking and screaming to the coal-face - any ideas I get on the bus are entirely my own!

  4. Mine visits when she knows I can't do anything about it (driving, washing dishes, on a conference call, etc.) I've started using the memo feature on my iPhone to record whatever impressions pop into my mind. Yesterday, while cleaning out my wallet, I found a tiny gem written on a worn out post-it note that I couldn't believe I'd lost. I don't even know where I was when I wrote it, but am very happy to have found it. : )

  5. My muse taps against the window of my schedule, over and over, begging to be let in.

  6. Muses are the worst! Mine wants to party at 3:30 in the morning. They're so darned finicky.

  7. My life has been a steady progression of trying new possible careers, and discovering for one horrible reason or another why that career is not for me. This is why I'm not a lawyer, a doctor, a vet, a zoologist, or a computer forensics scientist.

    Writing is the only career I'm totally obsessed with. It may not pay off, but at least it makes me happy.