Finding My Muse in all the Wrong Places

Much is said about the fabled inner voice or muse that writers hear as they pen their prose. (Or sweat out a few salty words every fifteen minutes or so like I do.)

Tales of how to find this elusive creature/higher power/hunger pang are varied. Every writer or other creative sort wants to know the secret to tapping into the rich reservoir of imagination that most certainly lies within us.

My muse is found in the company of the people I care about most in this life. It is their attention, their affection, their laughter despite difficult times that I want and will do — or write — anything to of bored boy with books

How ironic, then, that a few of my favorite muse-folks admit that they (gasp) hate to read.

Not their fault. In a world filled to distraction with YouTube videos and blockbuster movies, what enticement is there for mere words on a page? Even the way of writing has changed. We’ve gone from handwriting long, silky letters to captioning our photo-stories on Facebook. I’m waiting for War and Peace to come out as a tweet.

But how does one write for those who don’t even like to read? More to the point: Why would we?

Because that’s the challenge, isn’t it?

Every time I stare down the page I’ve got these stubborn souls in mind. I write with abandon and then ruthlessly edit my work again and again (yes, yes, yes!) until only the most eye-catching words remain. It’s gotta be bling on the page, baby! Lest they be off to the 99 Cent store or in front of the TV catching up on The Voice.

Of course it’s hard to know when these wascally non-weaders have taken the bait. Sure, it’d be nice to hear one of them say, “I used to not like to read but after reading your stuff, well, it really spoke to me, and now I’ve just downloaded all three Fifty Shades of Grey books.”

But such confirmation rarely happens. More like I see little clues that tell me they’ve tuned in: a knowing look, a shared laugh over a written-about topic, or a few smiley face icons tossed my way. Jackpot!

Smiley faceSmiley faceSmiley face

Goose bumps.

I hurry back to the page, eager to start the chase again.

Favorite Quotes:

Writing is telepathy.”
– Stephen King

Serious art is born from serious play.”
– Julia Cameron

Barbara Neal Varma is my favorite author.”
– Mom


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