Redefine the Muse: Who’s Responsible for Your Creativity?

[box options]Your creativity flourishes when you stop blaming others for not creating.[/box]

Simply put…

It’s you who created.

or

It’s you who did not create.

Not a muse. Not a spirit. It’s you.

The Muse

I believe in a muse (of sorts). I really do.

I believe you need to position yourself for your creativity, and I believe that you need to create a safe environment for your creativity to flourish.

But when happens when it doesn’t flourish?

Do you stop creating?

Did your ‘muse’ fail you?

Should you just wait for the muse to strike again (or not)?

The problem with believing whole-heartedly in the muse is this: it’s an easy out. 

As artists, we can quite easily be ruled by our feelings. If our feelings say “we have no inspiration, no muse, no hope,” we can easily give up.

Angel Stole My Heart
Thomas Hawk via Compfight

Redefine the Muse

To successfully navigate the creative life, we must redefine the muse.

The muse is…

A choice we make to position ourselves to create.

A helper, not a ruler.

An attitude of openness to the world around you.

The muse is not…

Something you have no control over.

Someone who comes to you when he/she/it feels like it.

Somewhere to go to find your creativity.

We get to personally take credit for our successes and failures.

If we don’t, we’re putting others in control of our creativity and that’s a scary place to let our dreams die.

[box options] Your work goes from ‘good’ to ‘great’ when you enjoy the responsibility for your creative work.[/box]

I’m Curious

How do you define your ‘muse?’

What do you do to stay inspired even when you don’t feel like it?

How would you ‘redefine the muse’?

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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • I’ve come to realize that if I wait for inspiration, it never comes. My inspiration usually comes after I start the work.

    How do I redefine the muse? I think in my case, it’s the desire to be creative. At least the initial part. It bugs me until I sit down and actually do the work. Then it reveals itself in different ways each time.

    • Fantastic Jamie: “it’s the desire to be creative.”

      I’ve found that as well… that when I work, inspiration happens as I need it!

      Thanks for the insight!

  • I just create. Sometimes the fullness comes quick and sometimes it has to simmer. Zig Ziglar spoke once about priming the pump. This can happen many ways for me: reading, running, listening, quiet, noise. I just decided to create.

  • My muse is the voice in my head that says, “Why aren’t you hitting the pavement today? I’ve got stuff I need to get out, but can’t do it if you don’t have a pen or a keyboard in front of you! Jackass!”

    Yes, my muse call me names. It’s a love-hate relationship. I LOVE what the muse has to offer, and I HATE when the muse is right.

    • Hahaha! I’ve felt that way too at times Scott!

      Sometimes my muse is rated PG-13 or even R if it feels I’m being a baby and really needs to get riled up!

  • It wasn’t until I made the commitment to blog on a consistent basis that I moved beyond being ruled by my muse (aka – inspiration to write) and began doing the hard work of finding inspiration and discipline to write. It really has made a huge difference in my writing. I don’t always feel inspired (like today), but I still push through and do the hard work. It’s worth it.

  • Andy Black

    Ahhhh…. The elusive scapegoat, I mean muse. The muse is something I blame when inspiration fails me and I am too lazy to go out looking for it. When I am in the zone and I can do no wrong, well… that’s when I dimiss the idea of a muse. At that point I am sure it is pure genius. : D

    • I like the “go and look for inspiration” Andy!

      The muse can be a lazyboy–just sit and sit and nothing happens.

      🙂