Thursday, January 3, 2019

Muse with a Whip

At 5am, the house was cold and I was warm and cozy under my blankets. But still, I threw them aside four different times to get up and write something down. The Muse had struck and at the same time that I was grateful for the inspiration of a perfectly formed sentence gifted to me in a sleepy state, I was cursing her for making me get up. I know from experience that if I let it go and went back to sleep in hopes it would still be there later, it would be gone, evaporated in the air.

That’s how she works. I think it’s her way of knowing who’s serious enough to pay their dues. If I’m not willing to get out of bed, then I’m not worth her time and there are plenty of other aspiring writers she can visit. I’m reminded of Truman Capote’s introduction to his book Music for Chameleons:

“One day I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble and merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip…”

She cracked the whip at an ungodly hour, I responded and then spent the morning spinning off her gifted sentences in my 4th draft of my new book. I’ll thank her later, but I suspect this afternoon I will need a nap. And I wouldn’t be surprised that just as I’m drifting off, I’ll hear the crack of the whip again. No one ever told me that the creative process had an S & M component. So it goes.

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