Story #12 [Inspiration]: What is your muse?

They say for people in the business of writing that showing up to write is half the battle. The very famous quote that pops in my mind whenever I stall in writing, or indeed in my other endeavours, is —

Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too. — Isabel Allende

And that really, is all that it is. Persevere. Maintain consistency. Hold yourself to standards. Take incremental steps. It is tremendously difficult!

In Greek mythology, they attribute all inspiration for the arts to the nine muses — the true source of all stories, music, dance and fine arts. (In some versions there are only three muses.) Of course this also meant that as a writer, if your product was lacklustre, well that was because you didn’t have the blessing of your patron muse! #playtheblamegame

Each muse was a patron goddess of one of the arts and had their own symbol:

  • Calliope: She of the fair voice. Muse of epic narrative poetry and song. Usually depicted holding a wax tablet and pencil
  • Clio: She that extols. Muse of history. Her symbols are scrolls and books.
  • Erato: The lovely one. Muse of love poetry and song. She is usually depicted holding a small lyre.
  • Euterpe: She that gladdens. Muse of lyric music. Her symbol is the double flute
  • Melpomene: She that sings. Muse of tragedy. She is usually depicted with a tragic mask and a sword.
  • Polyhymnia: She that is rich in hymns. Muse of sacred songs. Usually veiled.
  • Terpsichore: She that rejoices in dance. Muse of Dance. She is typically shown holding a lyre.
  • Thalia: She that flourishes. Muse of comedy. Usually symbolised by the comic mask and shepherd’s staff.
  • Urania: The heavenly one. Muse of astronomy. Typically holding a celestial global and compass.

Joie de Vivre