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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR MUSE DISAPPEARS?

March 3, 2021

            I’ve talked many times about the muse. Some of us writers have them and some don’t. Or, some only use the muse when convenient either as a temporary inspiration or an excuse when we don’t want to write or are too lazy to get around to it.

            The other day, I was thinking about the re-opening of Disneyland. Not Disney World, but the original, to me, the “real one” here in nearby Calee’fornia. It’s been closed for almost a year, and given the state of affairs with the pandemic, might not reopen until later in 2021, if at all.

            As I’ve said repeatedly, Disneyland is one of my favorite muses. It’s certainly not my only one, if I were to say I have any at all, but it’s certainly one of a multitude.

            Then I thought, “what if a writer lost their main muse?”

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR MUSE?

            This is, of course, hypothetically speaking.

            As an artist, regardless of medium, many say they get inspiration from a muse. That muse is the root of all (or most) of their art.

            All of a sudden, that pipeline is cut off for whatever reason.

            Does the artist shut down after that?

            Does all that talent and inspiration fade away?

            Is that muse so key to their creativity that they lose it?

            In some instances, historically speaking, that has happened. Then again, many artists have gone through many muses in their lifetimes, some more notable than others, while the general public is often never aware of it unless they’re huge fans who dig deep into the lives of these people.

            I’m asking that question to you, the writer because I sincerely hope you haven’t hinged your creativity all into one single thing.

INSPIRATION SHOULD COME FROM MANY PLACES

            If you think about it, most big-time artists have lost a muse or two over time. A lot of those muses were people, and of course, people change, pass away, or whatever. Therefore, an artist using someone for a muse is doomed to eventually lose that person. The same might be said for a location given development or other circumstances like weather or natural disasters.

            Has this stopped most artists?

            As I alluded to in the last section, in a few cases, maybe, but in most, nope.

            Speaking of our medium, if you’re a good writer, you draw inspiration from many places, and no “muse” is going to get in the way.

            Back to the point others had touted over and over again. A muse is just an excuse for being lazy and not getting off your duff.

            Am I that hard core?

            Not really, because there may be other extenuating circumstances for not wanting to write. Or, maybe writing isn’t a passion. Or, maybe you never should have started a particular story or series. Or…maybe you have physical or mental ailments keeping you from continuing.

            A host of reasons may be your issue, that have nothing to do with a muse.

MY EXAMPLE

            The best way I can illustrate is repeating my example.

            While Disneyland has always been a huge source if indirect inspiration, and I mean, really indirect, it is by no means the only one. I don’t have a single muse and never have had only one. When I go there, do you have any idea where I get the most inspiration from?

            There are four places that give me that shot of adrenaline that has nothing to do with physical thrills. They are: Mr. Toads Wild Ride. My earliest memories of Disney are when my dad took me on that ancient ride in 1957, just after the park opened. I still appreciate it as much today as I did as a young whippersnapper.

            The Haunted Mansion. The ride is way corny and not the least bit scary, even if you consider the park still kicks plenty of guests out for scattering loved one’s ashes along the tracks. I love the pseudo-creepy atmosphere. I still get a kick out of that old pipe organ used in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and the dancing holograms.

            Pirates Of The Caribbean. Even after politically correcting it, that river ride still rocks. Nothing more to say about that one.

            Finally, the exit to the Winnie The Pooh ride has some benches. I like to sit there while the rest of the family goes into the candy store next to them. Behind me, some schmuck in a costume dressed as Tigger does autographs and photos with the kids. I sit there and take in the gorgeous trees surrounding me and listen to Splashwater Mountain across the way. That little spot, buried in the midst of the park, is pure paradise.

On the other hand, maybe I should say that the world is my muse and leave it at that because not only is it, but I can’t leave out Spain and Turkey or many other places I’ve visited.

            Now, all I have to do is sit here at the keyboard and start typing.

            That’s good enough for me.

            Happy writing!

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