How to Catch a Muse
Inspiration, motivation, and achieving your dreams.
Sometimes life gets in the way, doesn’t it?
Even with the best of intentions, the purest of desires, life can throw you a curveball, and sometimes all your best laid plans can turn to dust in the blink of an eye.
I’ve had one of those months, and so apologies for the radio silence.
I had planned to post regularly, and was getting into the habit of doing so, but then life happened. I got busy, I got distracted, I lost my focus and my inspiration.
Writing is a funny thing: sometimes it’s all I can do not to pour my soul onto the pages, it comes as easily as breathing. On those days, the keyboard becomes an extension of that mysterious process, by which you speak thoughtfully and articulately before your brain has decided to form the words. It’s a beautiful, magical feeling, and it’s as close a sensation as I have ever experienced to what some call spirituality. On those days, I’m certain that writing is in my blood and bones, and that come what may, I mustn’t give up on it: I must work hard to channel this pulsating, living creativity into the life I want to lead…
But then there’s the other days. It can be something happening in my life, a bad sleep, rain falling on a dark, grey morning. I don’t always see them coming, and I slam into them like a brick wall: The Empty Days.
Inspiration is impossible to find, self-belief crumbles, and that glorious, transcendent feeling that there might be a purpose or calling in my life disappears faster than the inevitable tub of Ben & Jerry’s I’m eating at the time.
And there’s the rub. There’s the pain of knowing how absolutely wonderful it feels to be caught in the beautiful, sinuous stream of creative expression and inspiration, only to have it disappear without warning.
I suppose the trick to being a writer, professionally or consistently, must be learning to either overcome or live with the rub; learning to be okay on the days where you just can’t find that enigmatic thing. Accepting the temporary absence of your muse with grace and humility, whilst having faith that it will return.
Today is a good day: my soul feels full and the sun in shining. I have spent a week on holiday reading, lying in the glorious sunshine, and drinking sangria watching the stars. I think it’s exactly what I, and my muse, needed: I can feel the warm glow of inspiration and purpose again.
I hope it’s here to stay. I will do my best to protect and nurture it, and to be kind to myself. But I won’t make promises. I’m only human, and sometimes, life gets in the way.
"Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be."
—Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes