The Elusive Muse

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“Often the muse will not respond to direct and logical requests.  She must be lured in with the playful and the gentle.”  Jill Badonsky (from The Painter’s Keys)

One of the most painful issues for anyone in the arts is the feeling that the muse has gone.  All inspiration has dried up.  The art is continuing but with a lack of passion.  Only the motions are taking place.  Creativity is proceeding on automatic pilot.  This is the moment when many artists ponder succumbing to panic.  Will art remain forever in a state of mechanical practice?  Will those exhilarating feelings of profound inspiration ever return?  Can the muse be lured back?

Point one is not to panic.  Panic will only compound everything.  Waiting for Fairies.com says, “My muse is a fickle creature.  She dresses in moonlight and shadows and lives quietly in a forest glade, far from the reach of mortal thought.”  Waiting for Fairies suggests that on occasion the muse “can be lured out with the promise of chocolate, or a new toy to play with.”  Chocolate relieves many problems, including panic.   Muses probably crave chocolate as much as the rest of us.  Definitely, worth a try if all else fails.

The author of SpillingInk.com suggests those moments of heady oneness with the muse are the rarity and states that  for her, writing is “as much business as it is art.”  “None of that luring the muse nonsense,” will work.  Art as business does not stop and start on the whims of a fickle muse.  Art must carry on with or without the muse.  When muse is present, rejoice and enjoy the moment.  The rest of the time, continue making art.  The show must go on, with or without the muse.

When feeling the lack of the elusive muse, there are two possible options to be tried.  First, go for bribery.  Chocolate is an appealing allurement.  It is a well-known fact that much fickleness is cured with chocolate.  However if the muse is particularly stubborn, and you aren’t in the mood for bribery, forget the muse.  Drive the train without her.  Like Spring, she’ll come back when she’s ready.  In the meantime, eat the chocolate yourself.  If nothing else, you’ll feel better.