Every writer has a muse lurking behind each insight, story and poem. The muse is that desire within ourselves that drives us to write. That desire is always present, even on those days we don’t feel it. Our muse is like a wild creature, arriving on its own schedule and vanishing when we need it the most. Sometimes conjuring up that creative entity can be like performing an unwanted chore.
Our muse can pop up in the most unexpected moments – we have to be mentally prepared to connect to its energy so we can summon it on our own schedule. Some days our muse is intense, stalking us with its overwhelming need; other times we are the hunters trying to chase it from the shadows. Can we tame our muse? I think it misleads us to believe we can. But would we want to? Isn’t it that wild impulsiveness that make us artists? I believe it’s important to respect our muse for the wild creature it is because its unpredictable power is what leads us into new and stimulating territory. By learning to recognize its presence in the context of our daily life, we can manipulate it to our own design.
Like a fingerprint the muse is unique to each writer – sometimes we see it, sometimes we hear it, and sometimes we only feel it. We might not always have control over it, but there’s a comfort in knowing that our muse can’t survive without us – it’s born from our own creative energy, and it’s up to us to discover the means to tap into that power when it comes calling.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.