Oh, muse. Why do you elude me?
I search and pursue and seek to find your favor.
Why do you toy with me so?
I surround myself with your favorite things:
A candle, a book, sweet flowers and time.
So why do you tarry and not draw near?
I have given up chasing the muse. Waiting for that mythical spirit to visit me and infuse my soul with inspiration. I have caught glimpses of him. I thought one time I knew he had some word for me. Some idea I could have if just I would be true and search after him. But all my time was spent in wandering. Not in the writing.
So, I gave up. I sit here and write my words daily. I work at what I think I should say. What I can say to amuse, and possibly bemuse, myself and others. But it is work and not some inspired trance. I stay true to what I believe I am to do. I write my story. And then I put it aside to be picked up again the next day. It is every day. It is a discipline.
And in writing, in my day, whom do you think I should meet? The Muse! He comes to me. Tentatively at first. He is not sure that I want him there, as I have not called him out. He is watching me. Interested that I have gone on without him. Not willing to play his foolish games of hide and seek.
Sitting in the corner, trying to get my attention, he waits for me to pause so that he can help. So that he can offer the word, the phrase, the new twist. That he doesn’t feel pursued keeps him close at hand.
He seldom speaks beyond the story, but when he does, he commends me for figuring him out, for trapping him by not seeking him. And for that, he is mine and at my disposal as long as I remember the rules. To listen to what he says, write it down, and then get back to work. And to keep writing, each day, whether the Muse shows up or not.
What about you? Are you chasing the Muse? How do you work in light of or in absence of inspiration?