The Inner Muse: Slave Driver or Slob?


We blame our muses for an awful lot, when you think about it. We blame them for not coming when we call, for driving us too hard, for not letting us sleep or concentrate or write stuff we’re happy with. We are our muses’ slaves and all we ask in return is for the perfect story channelled at a reasonable rate. Right?

It’s the same deal as unexpected character developments – it’s all in your head. Actually, quite a lot of it is also in your habits. If you make sure you’re writing regularly – with or without the muse’s intervention – then you’ll still get stuff done and you’ll stop relying on lightning strikes of inspiration.

Brief historical note (because I can’t help myself)

The Romans were the ones who solidified the idea of there being nine muses, each with a specific art to patronise. The older Greek tradition only had three: Melete/Practice who was born from the movement of water, Mneme/Memory who is the sound of striking the air, and Aoide/Song who is embodied only in the human voice.

Note the oldest one is Practice? Yeah.


3 responses »

  1. I like Greek business of memory and practice as the muses. Song feels like the moment where someone went ‘there ought to be three, can someone come up with a third?’ Like some of the magical elements in a certain LRP system we’ve both played – the last few might as well have been called cheese, desperation and at-last-we-hit-sixteen.

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