Misunderstanding The Muse

The topic of the muse has been on my mind for some time now, so much so, that I even dedicated a fictional piece to this controversial yet elusive figure. It's titled An A-Muse-ing Encounter and you can read all about it here.

People refer to this phenomenon in a variety of ways. It has also been said that the muse inhabits different/various forms. Is it a part of the writer? An external force?

Do ideas just strike you out of nowhere, like a bolt from the blue? Do you have one muse? Many muses? Or one for each type of art form, for example, a writer who paints… would he have two separate muses? Do they have names? Or titles?

Some people engage in meaningful conversations with this muse. Whole conversations, I might add. Are muses metaphorical? Reality? A form of psychosis? An other-worldly creation? A figment of the imagination? An ethereal entity from a different dimension?

What do you think?


  1. J. A. Bennett on November 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I think it's different for every person. For me, my muse is life I find the inspiration in my surroundings, but others have real muses who help them through, it's all about perspective 🙂

    • mish on November 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Yes, definitely different for each person – it’s also fascinating to read the different perspectives on the muse; and varied levels of intensity each person experiences within the muse-writer relationship. 🙂

  2. Gloria on November 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    A form of psychosis.  As John Tesh quoted on his radio show, "Why is it when we talk to God, it's called prayer and when God talks to us it's called schizophrenia?
    With the root of the word being from the Greek psyche meaning spirit or soul…we are all a bit psycho. Always is good company and provides for conversation.

    • mish on November 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      “We are all a bit psycho” – love it!
      Trying to write 50 000 words within 30 days confirms this! LOL!

  3. Jamie Dedes on November 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Muse is your best you, which emerges when you glue the seat of your pants to a chair and get the work done.
    Sorry to be a bore…so very prosaic! 😉
    Fun to read your speculations, Mish.

    • mish on November 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      It’s also termed BICHOK – Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard. LOL!
      And yes, you have to “make it happen” as well.

  4. Mina B. on November 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Great post.  I mostly get ideas based on life or some random thought.  These sometime come and go.  So when they appear, I try to jot them down. 🙂

    • mish on November 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      I suppose sources of inspiration differ from person to person. Jotting down random thoughts seems like the best way to save these ideas. 🙂

  5. Broken Sparkles on November 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I think the Muses are just a light that point, enlighten us about things, feelings … in order to see them in a special way and find the right words … They can be everywhere and inside everyone. It's up to us and our imagination what shape, form we'll choose to find a muse!

    • mish on November 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Yes, that makes sense… it’s different in meaning/form for each individual, but the common factor is that it’s a source of inspiration. 🙂

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