Letter to My Errant Muse #wtfow #writebravely

Dear Fred,

You and I have always had an uneasy alliance. I pooh-pooh the whole idea of a “Muse” as something akin to the myth of “writer’s block,” and say “I don’t need a Muse, for crying out loud.” You fling me a link to this scene and ask if I’d prefer to have a governess.

We wrestle over wording. I revert to the prosaic prose of the technical writer; you stab me with a knife dipped in lemon juice and suggest that I dip my fountain pen in the blood and carve the words on bone. I get lost in the thesaurus or dive down the rabbit hole of Google; you slam the book on my nose and tell me to stop dawdling. We make a good team – I’ll grudgingly admit that much.

You’re a bit lazy in the inspiration department. Perched, there, on the arm of the chair, you mutter something about going out, having experiences, finding my own inspiration. “Write what you know,” you hiss. “Well, whaddayaknow? You never take me nice places…” Bitch, whine – what good is a Muse who has to be constantly entertained? If I go out and fill the well from which I draw my own inspiration, why should I keep you around? Just to feed your popcorn addiction? You eat my chocolate and throw me razzberries. When I suggest that providing inspiration is your job, you recite poetry, for God’s sake. Your favorite seems to be John Berryman’s “Dream Song 14,” and I think that’s just a snarky taunt. Thanks for nothing. I thought you were supposed to be one of my “inner resources.”

Granted, we’ve had some fine adventures, bonding over our shared hatred of the Inner Critic, Edna. She’s still blue in the face (and everywhere else) after being chucked out of an airplane lavatory at 35,000 feet. I suppose I should work a bit more on our story, come November. I’ll bring the sharpened fountain pen, you bring the rum – deal?

Or maybe we should work on the djinni/pirate witch story (speaking of rum), since Prunebutt’s done his disappearing act, again. What is it with me and insufferably snarky, uncooperative Muses?  We have a lot of unfinished business, come to think of it, and now I’m starting to think we need some family counseling, to boot.

I sometimes wish I’d been blessed with a Muse that kept me up all night with a million ideas and didn’t share my love of dark chocolate and sleep, or @Prunebutt1, rolling out from under the couch to bite me in the foot – that we deserve. I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve you (both) but we’re used to one another, now, so I suppose we’ve got no choice but to make the best of it.

Let’s have some new adventures soon,
H.

P.S. My grandmother used to say, “You’ve got to write letters to get letters.” Ball’s in your court, Muse.


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HollyJahangiri

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.
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14 thoughts on “Letter to My Errant Muse #wtfow #writebravely”

    1. I love, love, love this movie. In fact, when I married my husband, we used the processional from the wedding scene. (My parents were a bit relieved I didn’t insist on a “destination wedding” in Salzburg. As were we… the apple didn’t fall far from that tree. My daughter has played violin at the Mirabell Palace – you know, where the kids and Maria are learning Do-Re-Mi and jumping up and down the stairs?)
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Letter to My Errant Muse #wtfow #writebravelyMy Profile

  1. “You’ve got to write letters to get letters.!Thats such a powerful thought!.You grandma knew its eems.i too believe you just need to write.Its called the inertia of motion!

    1. I don’t think she meant it quite that way, and I’ve never really appreciated “friendship as a tennis match” – the best friendships aren’t the ones that keep score as to who wrote last. But that’s exactly what I meant, in writing this: When you have “writer’s block,” just WRITE. Don’t judge it, don’t even try to write “good literature.” Just throw words on paper. Let them simmer. Editing is when you see if any of them stick, like when you cook pasta. If you don’t write, the “writing muscle” grows lazy and begins to atrophy, just like an actual muscle. Practice brings strength and improvement.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Letter to My Errant Muse #wtfow #writebravelyMy Profile

  2. A witty post:) You don’t seem to need a muse to write engaging posts. I seem to in the market for one as my mind seems to have frozen solid and no idea is allowed to spring up from beneath all the ice and snow.

  3. I love this movie so much and all the songs too 😀 Now I feel like watching it again.
    My muse sometimes does a disappearing act and it’s so difficult to get her back. I enjoyed reading your post. Looks like your muse keeps things interesting.

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