Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my Blog!

Sunday 1 April 2012

Confessions of an Author: My muse, and how the Rolling Stones got it right.

All artists know that enigmatic, mysterious, exhilarating and annoyingly indeterminate moment when inspiration lifts the soul out of the dung heap of mediocrity. 

One can be toiling away for days, weeks, months, years, writing utter rubbish (unfortunately often when a deadline is looming) and then, quite unexpectedly, seemingly undeserved, a word enters into the mind like a whisper, or one comes across a book lying around or someone says something at a supermarket check out that suddenly works like a white brand of light out of a blue sky, shattering the fabric of your world, shinning a light upon the path that you must tread to creative excellence.  

The Goddesses responsible for these moments of inspirational bliss were known to the Greeks as muses, and all good poets, writers and musicians have acknowledged their valuable help. They were ethereal creatures that increasingly embodied real women: the Florentine  Dante had his Beatrice, Orpheus his Euridice, Shakespeare his Dark Lady, Novalis his Sophie, Scott Fitzgerald his Zelda, Ezra Pound his Olga...I could go on and on. 

My muse has, over time, become as tangible and real as a friend,  but there are moments when I, the mortal that I am, have lapses of forgetfulness; moments when I'm too busy with my own thoughts to listen to my friend's gentle urgings.

Last week I experienced such a lapse and this is my confession.

I was going quite mad looking for a book I thought I needed to continue writing the sequel to THE SIXTH KEY. In my heart of hearts I felt that the book was not in the house but my head would not listen! 

Looking for a book is a tiresome activity that, due to my tenacious nature, leads inexorably to a process that must run its course. Firstly I must tear up of the house looking for it. Next there is much blaming and finger pointing, after which comes the inevitable denial of any responsibility on my part, followed by a period of incertitude and palsy that lasts until something happens to break the miasmic spell. 

In this case it was an idea. 

I woke up one morning - 3am -  with the idea that the elusive book must be on our little boat (where I write on and off). So the next day I set off with the uncharacteristically choleric walk of a hunter in pursuit of a valuable prize that must be procured at any cost. But after hours of searching through a wilderness of previously unseen nooks and crannies, I had to sit back defeated, with only a glass of mineral water and the gentle lulling of the waves to calm my nerves. It was over, the hunt for the book had come to grinding halt and I would have to find my way home empty handed, humbled and broken.

During moments of despair, if one is quiet, one can discern the gentle voice, the soft suggestive whisper that speaks in the ear and says: Look!  And if you are obedient as I am when completely deflated, you will do as you are told. I looked but I did not see the book I wanted alas (!) I saw another book that I had quite forgotten about lying around. I grudgingly opened it to any page and on closer inspection was shocked. Elated. Grateful.  

This was exactly what I had been looking for! 

When I got home I took the new book to the bookshelf and inexplicably found the other book I had been looking for sitting on the shelf quite happily! I had not seen it  because it was the WRONG BOOK!

In the end I could have saved myself a lot of trouble just by listening to my muse and trusting that when she doesn't give me what I want it is because she wants to give me something better - she wants to give me what I need!

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite songs which has proven more insightful over the years than I sometimes care to admit. I'm so glad it led to your discovery. I've been waiting impatiently and eagerly for your new book.