Saturday, March 26, 2011

Where DID That Muse Go?

~~The short answer it nowhere. ; )

~~The long answer is a bit more complicated and challenging. When I sit down to write and string a few words together then get up in disgust, I've stopped myself. My muse, that spark of creativity, hasn't gone anywhere. I've just ceased listening to her nagging, whining, annoying self. I'll confess to a very low productivity in February and March. I've got a thousand excuses for it, too. But the muse hasn't left me. When I least expect it, I hear this question from deep inside--What are you doing? The point of creativity is simply to do it. Tell the story. Sing the song. Start something. We have to stop denying what we are supposed to be doing. It may sound totally simplistic, but for me it's profound.

~~The idea of a muse for creativity is a long standing one. Artists and writers have characterized the force behind their creativity as their Muse referring to the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory) from mythology. Each of the sisters guided a separate facet of art, music, writing, dance. According to Steven Pressfield's book, The War of Art, that drive or muse is built into everyone. Whether or not we open ourselves to expressing it is our choice. To deny it is Resistance to use Pressfield's term. Resistance can take many forms--denial that we can create anything, excuses for why we can't do it today or next year, or being more concerned about what others think than expressing what is inside. Whatever makes us afraid to go on is a block or Resistance. My biggest fear is that I'm not able to do it right, so why try? We need to just do it. Maybe Nike ads have a bigger point than just getting us to buy shoes.

~~So what's stopping you from putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? What's you favorite excuse?