let’s talk about muses
Or not. Because that’s just stupid.
Moreover, I’m interested in the actual topic of inspiration versus just sit down and work.
In the interest of full disclosure: I am not good at anything but writing. I have a creative brain but little in the way of skills. My crafting is almost always a one-time thing. I would never call myself a good artist (and I believe my art school instructors would hasten to agree with me). I have no skill with language or math, a terrible memory for history and facts, and a sort of stereotypical dislike for science. In short, I could never be anything but a writer. I just suck at everything else.
I do not think I am special. If anything, I’d say I’m more pathetic than your average bear. My skills are rooted in sitting around and amusing myself with imaginary people, and then typing what I think. It’s not a far cry from a monkey with a typewriter, except for the fact I rarely throw feces.
You did catch the rarely part, right?
I don’t believe in inspiration. Inspiration sounds entirely too divine to describe what I do. I sit, I think, and my brain does its job. WELL DONE, BRAIN. Here’s a cookie in the form of endorphins brought on by sex and wine.
I fear for those writers who elevate the process to something akin to a religious experience. We are not God, even in our little made-up worlds. Stories, in order to function, require a more articulate hand than that of God. It’s tinkering, not a great flood or… something (let’s be honest here: not only am I not a Biblical scholar, but I don’t really care, either. I was raised by apathetic agnostics, after all. Our spiritual beliefs are summed up with an “eh, I suppose something could be out there. Or not.”)
To believe one is evolved, elevated, in such a way is dangerous dangerous thinking. To claim one needs inspiration to churn out a clump of words is ridiculous. Wouldn’t you think a neurosurgeon refusing to operate because he was “lacking inspiration” horrifying? How self-indulgent.
Okay, fine, a writer isn’t really saving lives (let’s not get too metaphorical here). But the commentary still stands.
A writer is a writer because they write. Sitting around and not writing is, what, a thinker? And he doesn’t even move.
I’ll be here all week, people.
PS. I misspelled “inspiration” every single time I attempted it in this post. My inability to spell can be a topic for another time.