Is your Muse giving you grief?

Is your Muse giving you grief?

Does she demand to be wooed? Mooned over? Treated like a center-stage diva? Yeah? Well, what do you expect? Muses are fickle. The reason is they’re fantasy, tied on the balloon string of feelings that float on the wind. Forever taunting us with what lays just out of reach with zero regard for what needs must on the ground

Words on the page is what counts for a writer. Rough. Ugly. Sometimes not what we dream of producing. There’s no magic about it. But muses don’t scrub floors or scour toilets. Right?


If you like your muse, you can keep it. Not the fantasy, but the truth behind it. You are your own muse. Authors are their own creative resource. We draw from outside influences, yes, but nobody puts words on paper for us. But the power to do so—our energy—can be sapped by not taking care of the functioning human being behind the muse mask. A MUDE adjustment, not mood is required.

  1. Motivation: That’s an actual goal and a tangible reason for wanting achieve said words, pages, etc.
  2. Understanding of oneself and the process: A book doesn’t happen overnight. People are different. What works for you may not be an obstacle to someone else.
  3. Discipline: The big D is a success must-have in any endeavor. A person dedicated to maintaining a routine of laziness will become quite good at being a slug. One who writes regularly will become better just by doing it.
  4. Encouragement from inside and out: You are your closest neighbor, so be KIND to yourself first. It helps with the trickledown.

What you think, you think. What you do, you become. I’m not sure who said it, but I love repeating it. The saying isn’t a slam against positive thinking, but an acknowledgment that “doing” is required.

The work. 

Truth sets us free, not fantasy.  Start with an honest assessment of haves and have not’s and you’ll be a step ahead at figuring out how to get where you want to go. If something doesn’t work—method, routine, chosen market—give yourself the liberty to change directions. That’s okay.

Proper care and feeding of the animals—humans, although when not tended that’s questionable—is also okay.  It’s not only women and writers who neglect themselves. Time outs and naptime are for everyone.

Remember that inner child. I do. I have to.

Take that hot bath. Indulge in a hot mug of tea or chilled glass of wine. (I did last night to the benefit of the entire household ;^) Do that once or twice around the block to catch the autumn breezes while reminding your legs that walking around feels good. Something I’m trying to get back to.

I have a tub date with a turtle this weekend. Check it out:



This bath-friendly fizz bomb is a gift from my oldest daughter, wise in the ways of self-care despite being a twenty-something. She sends me the handmade pearl-studded spa soap, too. And face masks. Love ‘em. I have a shelf-load of serums and delicious moisturizer, too.


Thank you, Melanie! (I’m not braving the closet where I keep the box with more of the same.) But that’s no goddess tribute, that’s no feeding the muse, but a tangible reminder that even though I’m a wife, mom, writer, etc, I’m a human being. I need care. Not a fantasy.

So shed the muse mask (Unless it’s the latest and greatest in Korean skin care) and take care of you. You’ll have a lot less trouble on all fronts.

Write on!






4 thoughts on “Is your Muse giving you grief?”

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