Finding your Muse

A bit of trivia that learned recently is that the word MUSEUM comes from the word MUSE (it seems so obvious in hindsight given Muses are the goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science, and the arts in Greek and Roman mythology). Many ancient authors used to invoke their Muse at the beginning of their works: SING TO ME OF THE MAN, MUSE… is a line from the beginning of THE ODYSSEY by Homer.

While Muses are not really worshipped as tangible goddesses any more, we writers are a superstitious bunch and will still credit or blame them as appropriate and call upon them for inspiration, for example, through TALISMANS (which are ANYTHING THAT INVOKES A REMARKABLE OR POWERFUL INFLUENCE ON HUMAN FEELINGS OR ACTIONS).

I know an author who has a lucky rabbit foot that they rub before they sit down at their laptop. I’ve also heard of authors who wear special rings or necklaces that make them feel inspired. Others listen to particular songs (me included).

Your Muse could also be a place (artists used to believe their Muse lived in the walls of their studios—a concept that I find fascinating) or even a PERSON. I have an author friend who I refer to as my cheerleader—and vice versa. She could certainly be referred to as MY Muse.

I HIGHLY recommend having a think about Muses and how you will find yours. It could mean the difference between sitting and staring at a blank screen for two hours, or typing out three chapters in the same amount of time.

You should also check out this MARVELLOUS TedTalk by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE) about the concept of genius, which was derived from the mythological Genies (or Muses). In it, she talks about the pressure she felt to deliver a second book that was as popular as her first—and how, in ancient times, she could have just blamed her Muse.



2 comments on “Finding your Muse”
  1. I never thought to adopt a muse that I could credit or blame when I get rejection slips. Although, it would work better than verbally beating myself up. So, from this day forth, I will look for a muse – physical object, music, or imaginary writing friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EXACTLY! We all need lackeys 😊😊😊


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