Today I’d like to introduce you to someone. I’ve never mentioned her before, not by name anyway, but she’s an important part of my creative life and the force by which all my ideas come. This person has been with me since I was a child as I began to write stories, songs, and poems. She’s been there whispering in my ear for many years and she gets none of the credit. You see it’s not really me doing all of this creative stuff. It’s Penelope.
Say, “Hi!” to everyone in blogger land Penelope! No? Just going to keep sitting in the corner texting on your phone? Ok then honey, you do whatever makes you happy. She’s not talking right now (I think she might be hung over. She smells like vodka today) but let me tell you about her.
Our dear Penelope is eighteen years old. She smokes, drinks, is very slutty and swears like a sailor. She hates me. She hates almost everyone and has a terrible attitude. She is also stunningly beautiful, incredibly smart and has an amazing sense of humor. Penelope is the girl that all the girls love to hate in high school, but secretly wish they were like. Penelope doesn’t give a fuck! She’s free.
She also demands attention, and when she talks to me and I ignore her things do not go well. She has been known to storm off, leaving me alone for days, weeks or even months. When she tries to tell me what to write and I’ve ignored her she’s just stopped gifting me those things all together. For instance, she doesn’t whisper her poetry to me anymore. She knows I won’t write it down and so she probably wanders around looking for other people to whisper it to.
Are you wondering if I’m off my meds? Well, I am, but that has nothing to do with Penelope. Penelope is my muse. I believe all creative people have one, some of us are just better at seeing them than others. I believe creativity in general works like this: All the books, all the movies, all the music and art in the world is floating around out there somewhere. On some undetectable level it’s there, just existing. Some people (artists) are born with a receptor. This receptor allows us to access it. This is why it’s so frustrating for a lot of artists when they get asked where their ideas come from. We don’t fully know. I know the access can be fleeting and the receptor’s signal can be fuzzy or lost at times. Penelope can be a little bitch and wander off to do god knows what with god knows who but I love her, and she always comes back to me.
I take her in and sober her up. I do this willingly and gratefully. That she’s decided to land on my doorstep once more is always a gift. When she talks I listen. When your muse talks to you, you should listen too. If you have ideas for stories, songs, poetry, paintings or art of any kind don’t sit and ask yourself, ‘should I write this?’ A: YOU aren’t really writing it so get over yourself. And B: DON’T piss off the muse!! They don’t have to sit with you, they can go find somebody else who’s way more fun, and probably more talented.
Like I said, Penelope is smart and beautiful and could whisper in the ear of lots of people. Most of whom would be far more brilliant than I am to bring life to her stories. But she picks me and so I sit and listen as she goes on and on. Penelope, like any typical teenager, is a night owl and she really only picks up steam after dark. She has been keeping me up for years! This was ok when we were the same age, but I need to get up in the morning now. I have kids and things to do. Does she care? Not even a little. Do I complain and ignore her? No freakin’ way! I learned the hard way that when you ignore her she fucks off. She wants attention and she’s going where ever she can get it.
So folks, spend some time with your muse today. A little TLC can go a long way in helping you reach your creative goals. They are the gatekeeper after all.