The Face of the Muse

I suppose we’ve all dipped into our personal mythology once or twice and described our inspiration as having come from a muse. I’ve used the term frequently as a music composer, but seldom as a writer, and I’ve certainly never given this entity a face, but author Kelly Sedinger made me think twice about this earlier in the week with his blog entry, When the Muse Taunts Me. Seriously, I’ve never read a more thoroughly entertaining description of this so-called muse who has come down to us from ancient Greece. Granted, the persona his has taken on is vastly removed from that which Homer and Hesiod described, but to each our own, right? I don’t think we have any real control over this.

It was only recently that I discovered my muse takes on the character and appearance of whomever is my current main character. For example, right now mine is Gordon Hammond from my Beyond The Bridge. Hey, I could do a lot worse! As I write, I often ask myself how he would tackle the occasional tight spot. I’m always asking him for advice and I find, when I’m not feeling like writing (not inspired, so to speak), I can always be a-mused by writing or revising scenes that involve him. He never fails me.

Have you ever visualized your muse? If not, why not try? I think the Greeks were masters at what we call modern psychology, and I don’t believe for an instant they believed in their mythology the way we modern westerners sometimes believe in ours via religion. I think they understood what makes us tick as complex beings, and how we can more easily motivate ourselves by giving the facets of our personalities different personae. Why not give it a shot? What does your muse look like and how does she or he work with you?