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  • Ruth Liddemore

Living With Your Inner Muse

I was just pondering the contrariness of The Muse. Sitting on the bus, walking on the beach, taking the kids to school, she’s a mine of never-ending inspiration. But park myself at a desk, get the pad and pen out, and you find she’d rather be sunbathing in Barbados, or touring the Taj Mahal. Typical!

Fortunately, a professional writing degree tells you how to lure her back with the scent of coffee and chocolate cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Yet as frustrating as she is, I find it hard to understand why writers prefer to ignore her when she’s waving an idea under their noses. I’ve taken creative writing courses before - well, you’ve got to do something while waiting to fall over a BA (Hons) in Professional Writing, right? Yet, while a class exercise will give someone the perfect start to a romance, detective novel, or horror story, it’s the last thing the writer wants to write. They don’t do romance, have no interest in detective stories, and won’t face horror.

And that’s fine. People can write what they want to write, provided it’s not peppered with offensive language and intolerant hatred. Perhaps people just write for fun, or have confidence issues around unknown genres. Maybe it’s simply ignorance. Until last year, when I started the degree, writing for radio had never even entered my head.

But when you’ve got a muse jumping up and down in front of you, waving her arms around and all but shouting “Hello-o!?!?!” in your face, why ignore her? Why close yourself to all words have to offer, even if it’s a story you may not otherwise be telling?

Because however irritating and frustrating the muse is, all she wants to do is help you write. For you to write the stories she knows are inside you. Sometimes better than you do. Its why she can be so darn persistent.

As long as you don’t interfere with her sunbathing.

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