Writing

Why “The Muse” is Overrated

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Any type of art is, of its own accord, an act of creation. Some people avoid using the word in relation to mortals for religious reasons, but artists create tangible expression in one form or another. The act of creation has religious connotations for various reasons; this meaning manifests itself into art forms no matter the medium in the form of a divine spark. And that divine spark is given a name, a being, an explanation of entity – The Muse.

Except, The Muse does not exist. The Muse is an overrated, intangible idea that can quickly become an excuse for not continuing the art. Sure, inspiration is all around us – all artists have to start somewhere. But the artists themselves need to put the effort in the project to bring it to completion. And people get scared of the effort. People get scared of what the end result may become – or may not become – so they get caught up in “waiting for inspiration to hit.”

There’s nothing wrong with waiting to be in the mood to tackle a certain project – you may need to do more research, or maybe the art is triggering, and you need some time off from it in the name of self-care. But none of this has anything to do with a faceless entity that shoots inspirations at you like laser beams.

Leave The Muse in Greek mythology, because you’re The Muse of your own art.

Graphic made with BeFunky Photo Editor; muse graphic from Wikimedia Commons.

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3 thoughts on “Why “The Muse” is Overrated

  1. You might be interested in reading a book from the 1950s: The Creative Process (edited by Brewster Ghiselin). It contains a variety of essays, letters, and (in more modern cases) interviews from such luminaries as Einstein, Mozart, Wordsworth, and several others. Regardless of what the explanation actually is, there is a trend or characteristic which emerges from many of these disparate accounts. The creators often wrote about their experiences as if they were responding to something (dare I say someone?). The process, of course, was a mental one and involved mental effort, but these descriptions at least reveal a sense of perception or feel. That said, I have noticed that intellectually engaged people with disciplined work habits have more of a tendency for this perceptual experience to happen. Inactivity is inactivity. This was a good post, and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the recommendation! I’ll have to check it out. I’ve always found Wordsworth to be a tad pretentious, but it’ll be interesting reading his interview. It sounds like it’s a synthesis of passion and diligence.

      Liked by 1 person

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