~The True Author Behind the Writer and How to Track Down Your Elusive Muse~
The other day, as I was stuck in a deep dark pit called Camp Nanowrimo having been abandoned by what I called my “muse” (aka my motivation and inspiration,) I stumbled across a video of an author called Elizabeth Gilbert, and her talk was titled “Your Elusive Creative Genius.” Well, that sounded pretty good to me– I sure couldn’t find my creative genius, and instead of actually pushing through my writing to find my muse, I decided to listened to this video.
Ms. Gilbert talked about several interesting things including what she called her “protective psychological construct” between her and her writing which kept her sane even with the pressure of writing and finding inspiration. She brought up how the ancient Greeks and Romans did not believe that anyone had inherent creative talent. No one was a genius. A muse (or daemon or genius depending on where you lived) was a mythological spirit which was responsible for inspiring the creative work and helping the author do so.
The author was not responsible for writing an amazing novel, and neither was an author responsible for having absolutely no ideas and being stuck in the quagmire of writer’s block. It was the muse’s responsibility.
Now, this sounds great, and even makes a little bit of sense in how it protects the mind of the author. However, we all know that there are no mythological spirits which have all our creativity. And I, being extremely logical, absolutely won’t accept this idea– no matter what it does for our fragile writer’s mind. It is just ridiculous, and I believe that truth is the best thing. So how would this lie– this falsehood– actually help writers? Why is it actually benefiting writers?
So I thought about this for a week or so, and I came to the answer. I believe I have discovered the truth behind the muse, and so I wanted to share it with you guys, my fellow writers.
Now, I should just say that I am a Christian, but I am not a Christian because it is what my parents or anyone else believes. I have honestly attacked my own faith and aggressively searched for the truth in scientific, historical, psychological, and any other type of facts about the universe around us. I can honestly say that I believe Christianity to be the ultimate truth and reality about the universe based on the evidence around us, so I apply Christianity to every aspect of my life. If you would like to talk/debate with my about Christianity, I would truly love to. I only ask that you either e-mail me or use the Contact Me page– please don’t start a debate in the comments below. Seriously, don’t do it. I will track you down and eat you alive.
So, now that you know my worldview, I will proceed: As a Christian, I believe that everything good comes from God. In fact, God is the Great Creator. Look at the universe. I think we can safely say that He is the most creative being ever.
In James 1: 17a, the Bible says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father [God]…” We know that God wrote the Bible through humans, but what I am talking about is different– since obviously there are plenty of non-Christian authors who are hugely successful and convey truth and there is only one Word of God, the Bible. Every truth is from God, and He gives truth to everyone, even non-Christians, though the full truth is found only in Him and a relationship with Him (Christianity.)
So it turns out that Ms. Elizabeth Gilbert hypothesis is correct, in a way. Our creativity isn’t our own; we get it from somewhere else. We are not geniuses. We have a Great Genius who helps us. But she did not go far enough and understand her statement from a Christian worldview. God is our muse. God is our genius.
So when we are stuck, maybe we shouldn’t waste more time perusing Pinterest, looking for inspirational speakers, or even pushing through and writing anyways. Maybe we should spend some time with our Muse– talking to Him, praying to Him for help, or reading His word, the Bible.
Since I came to this conclusion, it has dramatically changed my writing. Now, I don’t start out my writing by finding an inspirational music playlist (though I still do that later) or looking at prompts on Pinterest. As crazy as it sounds, I start out my writing by praying to God and reading a chapter of the Bible. And I am suddenly more productive (not to mention happier) as I write. Of course, I still get stuck, but that isn’t my problem. My Muse will take care of that, and maybe He has a plan even above my writing for me. But I know I can trust my Muse no matter what.
I cannot wait to see what my Muse has in store for me.
How about you? What do you think?