Creativity Life & Philosophy

A shrine to the muses

What is a muse? In modern-day terms, it’s someone that inspires you to do the work: a teacher, parent, or celebrity.

For others, like author Steven Pressfield, the muses are still the creative Greek gods that support your creative efforts.

This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.

Steven Pressfield, War of Art

Museum, music..the word “muse” bakes itself it into these cabinets of curiosity. The amateur needs the comfort and confidence of a muse because thinking and making art are venturing into the unknown.

The muse demands consistency. But you can’t blame the muse for avoiding the work or being tardy.

At the end of the day, the muse is really you. Invoking the muse is invoking the artist. As Jerry Seinfeld says, “Don’t break the chain.”

Listen to In Our Time: The Muses

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.