Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you.
I am attending a writer’s conference this week with some big name authors who name drop the other big name authors who they hang with. Ann Patchett, who has given birth to eight novels including “The Patron Saint of Liars” and “The Magician’s Assistant”, was talking about her friend Liz. “Liz” as in Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the mega hit gimmick memoir “Eat, Pray, Love.” Patchett was telling a story about how “Liz” mentioned an idea she had for a love story set in the Amazon. Patchett sat with her mouth gaping as Gilbert described blow-by -blow the exact same story that Patchett was currently and quietly working on, the now published “State of Wonder.” How can that be? Gilbert, perhaps more willing to embrace the mystical after her trip to India and Bali, had a ready explanation. She described good ideas as these sort of divine missives floating around looking for a host. If you can’t catch it yourself and give it life, it keeps traveling until it finds someone who will. Gilbert gives a fascinating Ted Talk on the creative process and the history of our creative muse that is worth watching. Gilbert said the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans believed that creativity did not come from within, but rather from divine spirits they called Damons. Thought of much the same way as some people today think of angels. When audiences witnessed a truly masterful creation or performance, they believed they were seeing glimpses of God. If you have ever been struck with a truly inspiring idea, than may be you buy into this notion. I do.
So from now on as I devote my time fully to actualizing my dream of becoming a published writer, I am going to treat these Big Idea Mondays like a catch and release program. I had been worrying about finding the time to pursue some of these ideas while not getting side tracked from my book. Now I am just grateful to have witnessed them on their journey and hope to help find them a good home by advertising the ideas on this blog. Here is the one that came to me this week. A website dedicated to connecting creative professionals. Think of Match or E-Harmony for writers, poets, painters, screenwriters, glass blowers, sculptors, photographers, etc. I would call it Muse.com I need a talented illustrator to help match compelling images to my blog posts and to complete two of my children’s books. But where to look?
I don’t have fond memories of the dating scene. Finding the right creative partner seems like it is as challenging as finding romance and may be almost as important. Craigslist only sort of addresses this need. Kickstarter connects funding sources to creative ideas. Someone needs to be a matchmaker for artists.
Do your great ideas come from you or to you ?
For today’s “Sky’s the Limit” on what you can learn: History of muses. Homer, Hesiod and writers of antiquity believed Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory personified). had nine daughters. Calliope (epic poetry. Clio (history. Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry) Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry) Melpomene (tragedy) Terpsichore (dance) Erato (love poetry) Polyhymnia (sacred poetry) Urania (astronomy)
Others believed there were only three muses. Melete (Practice) was born from the movement of water. Mneme (memory) was made from the sound of air. Aoide (song) came from the embodiment pf the human voice.