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Do you have a muse?

IntoTheBlack

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Hello Everyone,

This topic intrigued me, there was some discussion recently by @Starbeast @nixie @Mr Orange about their muse not being present during a writing challenge discussion.

For me, I do not think I have a muse inspiring me. My ideas are constant, usually instant. When life gets in the way and I get stressed, try solving other’s problems or deal with politics. I don’t have the free flow of ideas. They stop, and I become lethargic. This can also happen when I get lost and confused with my own stories, usually because the document has got to be a size that’s unmanageable and I end up breaking the document down. One big block is when a topic I have no interest arises I draw a straight blank, totally void of ideas…then I am stuck. Sleep will help, but usually resetting by a change of location or exercise can be the biggest catalyst in getting my thoughts back and find a way in.

I wondered, do you have a muse? How do you contact your muse? How does it happen for you? Is your muse a he, she or it? Does you muse abandon you? What do you do to get your muse back?

Andy
 

IntoTheBlack

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@nixie No problem :giggle: the topic is interesting for me, the muse is almost an ethereal figure in a writers life sitting on the shoulder inspiring. One I feel I don’t posses, should I? Do all writers have a muse, am I the only one without?:unsure:
 

tegeus-Cromis

a better poet than swordsman
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I have a literal muse. A friend of mine expressed interest in the novel I was writing when I had only written a few chapters, so I sent her what I had. Her response to those chapters was so enthusiastic that I found myself sending her each new chapter as it was finished, and in a certain sense writing for her specifically. Her enthusiasm never waned, she gave excellent feedback, and I'm not sure that I could have finished the book without her. I am tremendously grateful to her.
 

Lumens

Writer of wrongs
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I think that if you are consistent over a long period of time, you train yourself to be creative and more effective, and hence not dependent on a muse to get the juices flowing.

It's still useful to believe in something that you have no control over though, so you don't become too presumptious; like luck, an all pervading cosmic power, the subconscious, an invisible friend, or a muse.
 

Luiglin

by day Stuart Orford by night Dark Lord's scribe
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  • Calliope - too snooty
  • Clio - preferred the library to the pub
  • Eutrepe - only likes blokes with bushy beards
  • Thalia - didn't take our relationship seriously
  • Melpomene - never ask her how her day has been
  • Terpsichore - couldn't keep up with her at the disco
  • Erato - how many times do I love thee? Not as many as she keeps asking
  • Polyhymania - a bit too religious
  • Urania - only has eyes for the stars
And that sums up my dealings with the Muses.
 

Steve Harrison

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I suppose being in 'the zone' is my muse; those times when I watch the words appear on screen and form impressive - in my opinion - passages I consciously know nothing about.

Occasionally, when something even more brilliant - again, IMO - occurs to me, it's as though the thought popped into existence about a foot above my head and slightly to the left.

All very odd, but I'm not complaining.
 

sknox

Member and remember
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Given that a muse is mythological, it's hard for me to take it seriously, except as a metaphor to express whether one's writing is going well or badly. That's fine. I never met a phor I didn't like.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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Of course a "muse" is a metaphor drawn from the mythological, but that doesn't mean it can't express something real. And I don't just mean in the sense that @tegeus-Cromis uses it. (Which, by the by, is nothing short of wonderful.) As a pastor I haven't done much actual writing for publication, but I did have a deadline every week to have something important to communicate in a way that could be understood both intellectually and emotionally. Sometimes that process was difficult to the point that I wondered if I were simply going through the motions, and sometimes it so easy and so wonderful that it gave me great joy and satisfaction. The word I used for the difference was "inspiration." When things were flowing I could feel that inspiration, and when they weren't, I couldn't feel it, which is not to say that it wasn't there.

So I believe that one's muse is actually the inspiration for a story. It can express something that is more than simply "honing one's craft," or "determination to write." I once heard that "Inspiration was simply applying the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair." And there is some sense to that. Inspiration does not usually appear in the middle of doing something else. You usually find inspiration by being determined to produce something of value. But there is not a one to one relationship between determination and inspiration. It does sometimes flash into your thinking so that you'd have to be brain dead to not recognize it, and that's not always when you are applying the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair.

I suppose that this is the long way of saying that when I use or hear the word "muse" in reference to the creation of a story, I understand inspiration and I think I understand what is meant.
 
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Cathbad

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Muses... Characters driving the story instead of the author... Removing the stone to reveal what's inside the marble block...

These are things authors (and artists) say, and whether they believe it metaphorically or realistically... so what?

Can't you just let has have this one?

I find it gives me a bit of comfort, having something to credit or blame...
 

sknox

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The question was whether we had one, not whether we would forbid it to others. I like to tell people I have a muse, but I got a restraining order so I can get some work done, and she can't come within 300 feet of the house.

Your Muse May Vary
 

Extollager

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Here is a passage from C. S. Lewis's novel Perelandra. Ransom, from our world (Tellus), has seen the created gods behind our myths of Venus (Perelandra) and Mars (Malacandra). The fallen archon of our world is the devil. Maleldil is the Logos, God the Son.

Lewis wrote:

He asked them how they were known to the old poets of Tellus. When and from whom had the children of Adam learned that Ares was a man of war and that Aphrodite rose from the sea foam? Earth has been besieged, an enemy-occupied territory, since before history began. The gods have had no commerce there. How then do we know of them? It comes, they told him, a long way round and through many stages. There is an environment of minds as well as of space. The universe is one--a spider's web wherein each mind lives along every line, a vast whispering gallery where (save for the direct action of Maleldil) though no news travels unchanged yet no secret can be rigorously kept. In the mind of the fallen Archon under whom our planet groans, the memory of Deep Heaven and the gods with whom he once consorted is still alive. Nay, in the very matter of our world, the traces of the celestial commonwealth are not quite lost. Memory passes through the womb and hovers in the air. The Muse is a real thing. A faint breath, as Virgil says, reaches even the late generations. Our mythology is based on a solider reality than we dream: but it is also at an almost infinite distance from that base. And when they told him this, Ransom at last understood why mythology was what it was--gleams of celestial strength and beauty falling on a jungle of filth and imbecility. His cheeks burned on behalf of our race when he looked on the true Mars and Venus and remembered the follies that have been talked of them on Earth.
 

Extollager

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Perhaps it's not so much "Do you have a muse?" as "Does the Muse sometimes have you?"

Now we speak of someone being a genius -- i.e., "genius" is a faculty some individuals happen to have. A genius used to be a supernatural agent that, on occasion, might favor the poet. There's a short scholarly essay, "Genius and Genius," in C. S. Lewis's Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.

Ruth Pitter was a very good poetess (her preferred term, rather than poet). Urania was a rich selection of her poetry. The cover design, by Joan Hassall, is one of my all-time favorite book cover art works.

54298
 
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BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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Yes , I have a muse and it tells me not TO attempt to write any fiction . It said coming about world end apocalypse if I ever got published.:confused:
 

Foxbat

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My muse is a time period. It appears I can only write (or be creative in general) at around 0400. It means early nights for me but I find that working at that time in the morning makes me feel that I've got the whole world to myself.

Thinking more on this...maybe it's less of a muse and more of megalomaniac tendancies:unsure:
 
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