Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crass, Crude, and To Do With the Muse

I will never be a writer.  Never, ever, ever, ever.  Like, EVER.

I am aware of the irony of me, you know, writing this statement, so no need to comment.

Pretty much since the invention of writing, writers have waxed poetic (and at times pathetic) about the muse being upon them and inspiring them and blah, blah, touchy-feely, I want to bang you, please be my patron and pay for my life so I can just sit here all day with my quill up my ass, blah.  And while an androgynous from the waist to the thighs Selma Hayek whispering sweet inspirational nothings into your ear is a nice thought, that's not reeeally the way it works.

Yes, writers are often inspired, but needing to wait until the muse curls up upon your lap and tickles your pen to produce brilliance?  Nope.  Writing is work--hard work.  I read articles all the time about authors (famous, respected authors no less) who make themselves write at least X pages per day or X hours per day.  If they waited for the muse to float through the window and have a seat on the chaise, they'd never get anything done and fade away into obscurity.

Yes, sometimes the illusive minx is hanging out on the couch, making eyes at you, and coveting your (very writerly) glass of wine--offering you sweeter and sweeter morsels of prose with every sip you take.  And it's wonderful.  You triumphantly relish every click of the keys, feeling more brilliant and more authorially invincible with every thumb-crack of the space bar.  She is going to make you a STAR.

And then the uppity bitch just leaves.  She didn't say when she'd be back; she won't return your calls; and she sure as fuck didn't offer up even a modicum of an apology.

You're left sitting there with your authorial cock out, desperately trying to finish yourself off, but it's too late.  You were rock hard for filet mignon, but you just can't keep it up for Salisbury steak.

Now what does a REAL writer do at this time?  Drain his wine, zip up his fly, and go moon over his scribal blue balls until the muse flits back into his life once again?  No.  A real write smacks his framed photo of Hemingway onto his desk, sneers at the wine while pouring a whiskey, and misogynistically slogs onward, cursing that impudent bitch the entire time and swearing that when she shows back up (which the little whore will--she always does), he's going to take EXACTLY what he wants from her and then send her on her way with a smack on the ass.

Of course, though the real writer does indeed slog forth, he's still grateful when the muse returns and doesn't lay a hand on her.  He's a real writer, not an idiot.

Me?  I'm the foppish fool mooning in the corner, tearfully staring up at the stars, praying that she'll come back, as only in her presence does it seem that I can translate the noise in my brain into words on the screen.

I have a post sitting half-finished somewhere about grad school, my choice to leave, and how I see things now.  Remember how I posted about wanting to tell my story and that even though I'd never hear anything from Babble, I'd end up writing it anyway?  I heard from Babble.  They want to read it before deciding whether to post it.  Since I know it's going to rip my stupid little heart out to write it, I keep waiting for the "right" moment.  Let us not discuss how many ideas I have written down or recorded here and there that will probably never germinate past a few sentences and a pithy title.

I used to worry about the muse getting fed-up and not coming back.  But after many years, I've realized she's a cock-tease; she'll never stop coming around as long as keep letting her rile me up.  It's up to me, however, to take care of my own denouement   If I keep going and working and plugging along, she might just come back and squeeze my balls at that one perfect moment, but getting there . . . it's all me.


  1. This post made my day because (1) it's cleverly done and (2) it gets the whole damn muse situation exactly right.

    Also I write this comment while sitting between a stack of student papers I should be grading and the second draft of a short story I can't quite seem to finish.

    The problem with both story and papers could be the missing whiskey glass.

    1. Your comment made my day because (1) it's always nice to get praise from someone whose writing you respect and (2) because I'm a compliment whore.

      I, personally, never have a missing alcohol glass . . . though when I used to grade papers in person, I had to stick to white wine.