Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Finding your Muse
As I constantly tell anyone who will listen, the beauty of being a writer is that you can do your work anytime, anywhere with very little restrictions…except for the ubiquitous procrastination or creative blocks that can follow you wherever you go. As I sit in my childhood bedroom with the pale blue walls, white curtains and bedspread with the blue flowers and ruffles, I am reminded that inspiration comes from a variety of sources but I’m having a hard time focusing as I’m mentally transported back to when I was 12 and my purple room was transformed into a more sophisticated blue as I headed into my teen years. But, I digress. I am home in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the holidays and am missing my muse – a 15-pound, black and white feline named Zorro. It’s dawned on me that his furry presence keeps my creative juices flowing or jump-starts them when they’ve ground to a halt. Sometimes he’ll just lay quietly curled up on the carpet behind me as I’m tapping away and when I can’t find the right word or phrase I’ll just spin around in my chair and watch him sleeping or languidly washing his face, curling both paws over the top of his head and around his ears. Sometimes he feels the need to be a little closer and will fill in the remainder of the desk space that my laptop doesn’t take up. At any point that my fingers lay motionless on the keyboard, he’ll gaze at me with those piercing yellow eyes, blink once slowly and almost telepathically transfer a brilliant idea. I always thank him and he gives me a self-satisfied look as I resume my work with new fervor and my fingers again fly over the keyboard like the words are being channeled by some greater being. That’s what having a muse is all about.
So, as I do travel quite a lot and I can’t usually cart my fat cat everywhere I go, it makes sense to me to create an army of muses that can be conjured up at will. It’s like finding your happy place in a variety of locations. An active imagination helps but what writer doesn’t have one of those? As I glance out the window at a blustery winter morning I see the sun is about to come up (I’m still jetlagged so am waking up way before sunrise). The wind blowing through the trees sounds like a hundred voices telling me that today’s a great day for writing. Who am I to argue with my Muses?