Let me just upset a whole bunch of my writing buddies up front and tell you that I don’t believe in the creative muse. I used to, but the bitch wouldn’t work so I kicked her ass out. If the voice in my head refuses to talk, then she can go hang out at someone else’s house. There are plenty of so-called professional writers who are accomplishing nothing, and she can go hang out with their muses. Hey, it’s a tough economy, and if I have to work, than everyone has to work – even the voices in my head. There’s no freeloading, no time off, no taking a break to sit by the pond to contemplate the creative nature of writing. There’s writing or not writing. It’s a lot like any profession, some days you’re better at it than others.
By definition a muse is “a mythical woman, or a force personified as one, who is the inspiration for a creative artist.” Well, there’s the problem – it’s mythological. Just another one of the imaginary voices in my head, only this one thought she got to pick when she did or didn’t want to work. I didn’t see her as a beautiful creature like Sharon Stone in the movie The Muse. Instead, I saw my muse as a spoiled, arrogant, and temperamental bitch from hell that didn’t care how hard I was working. She sat around watching me struggle, and then she acted like I was an imposition when I tried to hold a conversation with her. She wasn’t light, bright, and happy to help. She was whiney, cranky, bitchy, and messy. You know, a lot like a teenager.
So one day we had to have “The Talk” and I treated my muse like I would have any teenager who was that obnoxious. I had asked her if she was ready to get down to some serious work, and she rolled her eyes and told me she had too many “real” questions to ponder to be bothered with my pathetic little writing thing. That was it.
I unleashed on her, “You have questions! I have some simple answers for you, sweetie face. Get off your butt and get a job. With a job you get to earn a living and pay me room and board. Anything else is grounds for your immediate departure. Oh, yeah, there’s also that whole “my house, my rules” thing you need to comply with. No deep sighs of disgust, no eye rolling when I tell you to get off your butt and help with the writing, and don’t make me take your computer privileges because I can and will fit that cute little I-Pad sideways up your butt. You may think you know it all, but I’m the one woman you don’t get to boss around. Why? Because I brought you into this world and I can take you out!”
I’ve never really been a person that believes in all that happy horse-hooey of kinder and gentler. I do not believe in spare the rod and spoil the child. I’m a cold hard truth kind of person. The world is not your oyster. Not everyone likes you or thinks you’re pretty. Not everyone makes the team, you don’t get dessert every night, and not everyone gets the freaking brass ring! Deal with it!
What I do believe is that no matter what you take on, you should do it with respect for yourself and the work. I also believe you need to have a work ethic if you’re ever going to be worth a moment of my time. And, the bottom line is, if you’re going to call yourself a professional writer, if you say you have a “need” to write, than accept the responsibility of accomplishing that task and fulfilling that need. That means you put the words on the paper. If you’re going to fart around and complain that your muse isn’t talking to you, then perhaps you need to admit that it’s just too hard and you should find another line of work. And, as I’ve already pointed out, some days work is easier than others.
Oh, and my muse. Well, a lot like Tinkerbell. I quit believing and she disappeared. All the other voices in my head got the message and are working away.