The Writers Muse; an inspiring angel sent by God or a demon bitch from hell?

15 02 2011

The Writers muse. From whence do we derive the inspiration and discipline to write?

I have a love -hate relationship with the written word. I love words. I love to play with them like toys. I like to play word games. My favorites are Scrabble, Super Scrabble (you gotta try it!), Boggle and Quidler (first encountered it at the annual Mensa conference in 2009). I just finished my first ever crossword puzzle with occasional intervention from my girlfriend. I’m really not a fan of the medium.

Over the years, I’ve been encouraged by many people to write. Usually their comments have come in response to one of my particular emotive, picturesque “shares” at a “recovery” meeting. I can be quite funny, that is when I’m comfortable and not trying to be. I’ve attended several comedy classes over the years; stand-up, comedy writing and improv. I’ve learned, for me, comedy is like sex. The more rehearsed and scripted it is, the harder it is to perform well. Therefore, I think a career as a comedian or as a gigolo is out of the question.

I have felt disqualified as a writer in times past for a several reasons. I am not a reader. I enjoy reading science fiction anthologies at bedtime and that’s about it. I’m a good researcher. I’m very good at finding the information I need, when I need it. I even love bookstores. I just don’t like to read. Thus, it has felt hypocritical to “name” myself a writer, when I don’t read. It’s like some unwritten creed that a writer must adhere to. Is it arrogance or grandiosity? Really, I think it might be some kind of learning disability. However, I have learned that speed reading works for me. I can quickly digest an entire book without ever even tasting its words. And get the gist of it.

In 1998 I wrote a 100,000 plus word novel. It was the hardest, loneliest work I have ever done. During that time I scanned several books on being a writer. The wisest advice that i got was, “if you can NOT write, then don’t.”

My angel muse. LIttle kisses of inspiration upon the brow.

Devil Muse sent to torment our thoughts which can only be relieved by expression

I’ve just finished a four day writing marathon. I’ve been crafting an expansive blog site for the international trade field. I imagine it taking on mammoth proportions. I’m intending to build a community of 50+ contributing authors. I’ve designed it to have over 100 pages and posting categories. Yet, I don’t read blogs. I have never followed any blogger… ever. I don’t think i have even read one blog post in my life all the way through. The very fact that this post is over 650 words proves it.

One of the reasons I am working within the Blog medium is that I don’t have the fortitude to spend another year or two of my life in obscurity and pain… only to emerge with what I believe to be the next great american novel or best selling business book… intending to announce my newest creation and garner immediate popular acclaim… but wake up in an empty theater. I throw a party and no one comes. What I think to have been brilliant is deemed irrelevant.

Blogs are safer. Less risk of major rejection. Better to take being ignored in small, reasonable doses. My hope is that the process will carry me to expanded publication opportunities.

Why write? Walking the beach yesterday, my head was abuzz with words. They were swarming incessantly, endlessly jabbering. Sometimes I felt like i was being bitten by horse flies. Other times it felt like I was being touched by angels feathers. Whether from God or hell, I was driven to keep writing. Maybe to perform some kind of exorcism; to cast the tormenting phrases in my head into the internet abyss. Maybe to be a channel of inspiration.

Hell if I know. I’m just a reluctant writer. Caught between two muses. A-musing isn’t it?




2 responses

17 02 2011
Louisa Avery

Reluctant or not you are a creative gifted writer. Whichever muse is hanging around, it is certainly the one for writers.

17 02 2011
Robert Thompson

What’s your muse like?

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