A Little History:
What is a muse anyway?
I looked up Muse in the World History Encyclopedia and this popped up for me:
In Greek mythology, the nine Muses are goddesses of the various arts such as music, dance, and poetry. Blessed with wonderful artistic talents, they also possess great beauty, grace, and allure. Their gifts of song, dance, and joy helped the gods and mankind to forget their troubles and inspired musicians and writers to reach ever greater artistic and intellectual heights.
The Muses are the daughters of Zeus and the Titan Mnemosyne (Memory) after the couple slept together for nine consecutive nights. The nine muses are:
- Calliope, traditionally the most important (beautiful-voiced and representing epic poetry and also rhetoric),
- Clio (glorifying and representing history),
- Erato (lovely and representing singing),
- Euterpe (well-delighting and representing lyric poetry),
- Melpomene (singing and representing tragedy),
- Polymnia (many hymning and representing hymns to the gods and heroes),
- Terpsichore or Stesichore (delighting in dance),
- Thalia (blooming and representing comedy),
- Urania (heavenly and representing astronomy).
Here’s the link in case you want to read more about the history of muses Muse – World History Encyclopedia
My understanding of what a muse is:
I didn’t realize that muses came from Greek mythology. Today, we consider a muse for anyone or anything that inspires you to perform when you are not motivated to do so on your own.
Personally, I don’t use a person as a muse. If I can’t get inspired to write, then I need to change the subject or write about something else because it means that I am not excited enough about the subject.
Writing a novel takes a lot of hours, dedication, sweat, blood, anger, and tears. If I don’t feel that I can continue the roller coaster for several months, then I need to change my story to where I am excited about it enough to keep going.
I don’t find inspiration through other authors. I feel admiration, but not
However, I find inspiration in nature. Years ago, when I lived in San Diego, California, I would take a pad of paper and a pen and make a trip to the beach or a trip to the mountains and found inspiration in my surroundings. It was peaceful and gave me a sense of tranquility of mind and body. Which is necessary when writing, I found out.
I would visit parks and gardens. I found peace and inspiration there as well. That was when I wrote romances. Now I am writing mysteries. I haven’t been able to find a peaceful, inspirational place to write about a serial killer. Hopefully, someday I will find something to keep me writing about that kind of horror.
Then you are probably wondering–why write about a serial killer then? Because it’s a challenge. If I can’t challenge myself in my stories, I won’t write. I love research. Then research, which means learning something new, becomes my inspiration.
Whatever it is, find what inspires you, you can call it a muse or not. The drive and motivation to complete your novel is key.