Musing About Inspiration

Muse (meeyooz) n.
Greek Mythology Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.


a. A source of inspiration.

This week, I couldn’t find my muse. Figuring she may be under something on my cluttered desk, I decided to have an office organizing day. I tossed stacks of saved papers into the recycling bin and worked through a couple of piles of tasks that needed tending. I filed a heap of important notes and clipped articles and I even dared to tackle the junk basket of odds and ends that I’ve avoided for a while.

When I could see the surface of my desk, I assumed I’d be finding my muse soon. So, I sat down at my computer, ready to type. Apparently my muse wasn’t lost after all, she was out to lunch with friends. All I managed to type were some e-mails and Facebook posts. My muse doesn’t have a cell phone, so I couldn’t ask her to return. I simply hoped she’d get tired of her friends and come back eventually.

The next morning, I sat at my desk and waited for her to appear. I opened a blank document. Nothing. Deciding she had taken a short vacation instead of going to lunch the day before, I abandoned the possibility of writing and made some phone calls and did more office work. One of those e-mails was from a writer friend who encouraged her fellow writers to get acquainted with their muse, to give him or her a name and discover character qualities. How timely! I thought about my muse. I’ve decided it’s a girl since I’m a girl. I know, not very creative. She doesn’t have a name and I have no idea what she looks like. All I know about her is that she isn’t very dependable. She heads out the door without advance warning and shows up when I least expect her.

I spent my afternoon researching possible get-away destinations for my pending 20th wedding anniversary. Satisfied with the deal I found, I turned off the computer and headed for my monthly writers guild meeting I knew my muse hadn’t abandoned me forever, since she hadn’t left a resignation letter or packed up her things. Maybe my writer friends would know where to start looking for her.

I enjoyed the meeting. Other writers talked about manuscripts in progress and publishing dreams. We reflected on the past year and dreamed about the next guild season. As the speaker, Mary, started her presentation on writing with humor, my muse slipped into the seat next to me. She handed me a pen and I started jotting notes all over my handout. I drove home with several writing ideas.

Today, as I settled into my office chair and opened a blank screen once again. This time, my muse showed up. I’m so glad she’s back!

What’s your muse? Where do you find inspiration when inspiration is missing? I’d love to hear, so please share your comments below.

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One Comment

  1. This is delightful, Michelle. Writer’s guild often has the same impact on me. I go home with even more ideas.

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