Whenever anyone mentions ‘the muse’ - that creative force which whispers in my ear at the strangest and most unpredictable times, I’ve envisioned her as mystical, a pewter fairy with intricate wings, dispelling her wisdom in brief, fleeting moments.
Apparently this delicate appearance is only when I happen to listen to her. When I don’t, she pulls out the bizarre outfits. The other night, I watched a documentary which reminded me of and helped me gain insight into various, shall we say, dysfunctional parts of my youth.
The muse appeared, wearing pink bunny slippers. “Your next book should tell this story.”
Me: “Uh, no. That requires me to face my demons, to fall down into the rabbit hole which I long ago scraped myself out of. Besides, this documentary has already covered a similar story.”
Now the muse became more detailed. Pink bunny slippers, a polka-dotted outfit, and an enormous purple hat. “The documentary told one story, something which happened to different people, in a different location, in a different time. Your story could be different.”
I ignored her again, terrified at the thought of even going near any of these ideas which I’d so successfully avoided over the years. Then I looked over. There was now a big green feather sticking out of that gigantic purple hat.
I turned back to the documentary, determined to focus all my energy on it. Then she temptingly whispered, “But you already have a manuscript which is 50% complete, which began telling a similar story. But you stopped because of fear.”
Me: “Yeah, so? It’s not like I need to write this story now.”
As I continued watching this documentary, a story so similar to dysfunctional moments of my own life, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if I made a fiction story about these themes.
The muse and I argued. We finally came to a truce, where I will consider writing this after my current work is done. In return, she will allow me to wear the gigantic purple hat to costume parties.
I think I got the better end of the bargain, but only time will tell…