Finding a muse

Not writing is a struggle.

You tap the pen against paper, hover hands over a keyboard, and nothing comes.

It’s a creative endeavor, needing a resource to be tapped, for some who write (some like me). Energy, inspiration, time, or just a flash at a particular moment that gets the gears moving.

The process isn’t new, we’ve all read about it before. But for each one who does it this way, it’s unique. Much as our experiences and stories and what we go through is all different, simply because it’s through our eyes.

It’s the stories that make people especially important to me. There are times I wish I could explain that better. But the how and why of things genuinely appeals to me

Poets have muses, and I like that, to a point. It can be a person, an activity or object I love- it has been for me, on many occasions. Someone, or something, that set off a deeper reaction in me, needing to share that in prose.

Oddly (well, oddly in some analysis), I’ve felt my writing is sharper when I’ve had something to play it off- another vocation or job or purpose which I could relay experiences from. I think I would struggle as a writer from day to day- partially because my muses come and go, but partially because I wouldn’t have that well of experience to draw from. My work gives me stories; it fuels my muse.

It’s far from the only thing, but as an experience that can take up the majority of time or thinking on a given day, it’s an important one to have. It’s why I wonder if I’d make it as a writer- would it be as meaningful or sharp when the writing was about itself? When it was the means to the end?

(Ignoring the “is it awful that this post is about itself?” question for the moment- it is a little awful. I’m self aware enough to realize that. But I’m kind of on a roll here.).

So where’s the writer? What’s his muse this week? The answer would be, still looking for it, I think, which is why we’re here, talking about not writing. There are stories, people, things going on, but as of yet, I can’t communicate any of those things. Either by choice, or by happenstance. More than likely, a little of both. I don’t subscribe to many absolutes in life, especially as they pertain to me.

I struggle with sharing when my muse is full throttle, being a private person by nature. That’s why we get ambiguous references to nebulous occurrances that may or may not make sense to those that read. Writing’s an outlet for me, but at the same time, I don’t really want it to be all “ongsty”, or all meaningless. Part of finding the muse for me is finding that line where it’s meaningful to the reader, but also to me.

I don’t consider myself any smarter than most people in a general case, but I like hooking people into that kind of meaning. For me, the best writers make the writing meaningful. Whether that’s fiction or self-analysis or memoirs.

I’ve felt restless of late, and that’s not a good state for writing, save for the kind of reflection restlessness brings on. Some of it’s physical, but my belief is it’s more personal and emotional- and therefore, the kind of thing that I’d struggle to explain in a forum like this. The struggle for me is, by all quantitative measures, I shouldn’t be restless- job’s good, life’s good, bought a new car, yay! I’m doing well. Right?

Coming back to the “why” of things that fascinates me, I look at my restlessness and almost enjoy that the pieces don’t fit from any view of my own situation. Well, I would more it if wasn’t keeping me up nights. That’s a debate that could keep me musing for a while.

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One thought on “Finding a muse

  1. Colette

    I feel ya, buddy. My book is taking years to write even though it’s just going to be a bunch of short stories. Sometimes I get really inspired, and that’s when I work on it. In those times I like more or less all of what I end up with. When I force it in a dry spell, it all goes into the recycle bin sooner or later. I’ve learned just to ride the wave of inspiration, unpredictable as it is.

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