Where is my Thalia?
It’s official: I appear to have writer’s block. I spent over two and a half hours today trying to work on both my novel and a thought-provoking post for this blog, but all I have to show for the former is scattered, incoherent prose in a well-worn notebook. At least that’s something tangible: when I reflect on the latter, the blinking cursor position on the almost blank page seemed to mock me, its solitary presence a jarring reminder that my attempt at creativity had apparently failed. I’m not entirely sure why I thought that writing about writer’s block would help the creative juices to once again flow. Perhaps it was the third vodka, lemonade and lime that assisted in the decision-making process, or perhaps just the simple irony of it appealed to me – as you are well aware, I’m all about the irony.
It’s a very atypical, somewhat surreal sensation to be honest. I’m seldom lost for words, and to have a myriad of ideas, characters and opinions loitering in my head, as if waiting for the 4:06pm bus to Creativity that isn’t going to show up, may be unhinging me slightly. I am mystified as to how I have misplaced my Muse, but I have no doubt that I will stumble across her when I least expect it. She will turn up in a place that I’d never think to look for her, but have, simply because she can’t be anywhere else. Actually, when you think about it in that context, a Muse is not dissimilar to a wallet, or a set of keys.
What one uses for their artistic inspiration is a very individual thing. Some draw on personal experiences, both good and bad, while others get fodder from observing the seemingly commonplace in everyday life. Wherever your inspiration comes from, the general consensus is that if your Muse doesn’t want you to create, you won’t, regardless of how powerful the inspiration is. You may very well retain it for later use, but if that bitch has decided that now isn’t the time for you to write a modern day Nineteen Eighty-Four or repaint the Mona Lisa, you may as well just go with the flow – you can’t argue with her. Personally, I’ve found my Muse to be charming yet sociopathic. Insightful yet delusional. Committed, yet likely to take flight at a moment’s notice. She works when she pleases, keeps odd hours, and is probably the one who keeps eating the leftover curry in the fridge, without bothering to ask who it belongs to. Oh, Thalia, where art thou?
So here we are. In an added attempt to take a plunger to my writer’s block, I’m going to ask you, the readers of TDoT, to choose the topic for my next post. Either comment with your suggestions, or email me.
In closing, I think it would be remiss of me to do a piece on creative inspiration – or current lack thereof – and not make reference to Nick Cave’s defence of his Muse in a letter he sent to MTV:
“My relationship with my Muse is a delicate one at the best of times, and I feel that it is my duty to protect her from influences that may offend her fragile nature.”