Sunday, February 24, 2013


muse >noun 1 (Muse) (in Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine goddesses who preside over the arts and sciences. 2 a woman who is the inspiration for a creative artist.
-ORIGIN Greek mousa.

I stumbled upon this question while cruising the forums this morning, and seeing the responses, decided it warranted some thought.  My feelings are this:

In creative writing particularly, your muse, or inspiration if you will, can be so many things. In fact, the more I think about it, the more this question leads to others.

What sparks an idea?  It can be something as simple as a person’s name or something in the personality of someone you know or meet.  It could be something you see or experience.  People watching, for example.  How about a movie you’ve seen, or a television show you recently watched?  Heck, a thirty-second commercial even.  Absolutely anything!

The best ideas come to me either when I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep or when in the shower.  That’s when my mind wanders.  Sometimes it happens while I’m driving (again my mind is wandering) or while reading a book.  So the answer to what was my inspiration would have to be . . . what?

Let’s take that last one - a book.  As a writer, when you read someone else’s work do you ever (come on be honest) stop and think, now I might have done this differently?  I’ll admit it’s seldom, if ever that happens to me, but many times something I read does spark an idea.  You’ll see me putting the book down and tearing off to start up my laptop to get it down before I forget.  I’m not copying a line or a scene or anything particular from the book, just an idea that popped into my head while reading.  So again, my muse was what exactly?

Someone asked if anyone writes from their dreams.  Maybe not from anything I’ve dreamed while sleeping, but most definitely from daydreams.  My first book for example was based partially on an old fantasy of mine.

That’s that creative part of our brain at work.

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