Sunday, May 20, 2012

Protect Your Muse


Reading Angela Brown's latest blog post, got me thinking about my inner muse. Angela and her muse seem to have an awesome relationship, as you can see HERE. Thank you, Angela for showing me a "healthy" artist & muse relationship. :)) It made me realize how awful I've been to mine. 

Don't think I'm weird, but my muse's name is Shana. Unfortunately for her, I've exposed her to all sorts of cruelty. But, what I haven't realized until today, her only defense has been me, and up until now, I've failed her, miserably. 
It's our creative duty to protect our muses. Don't let others murder them. Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way calls them "poisonous playmates". She states, "Toxic playmates can capsize our artist's growth." 

I recently had an experience with a family member, and my muse's spirit sunk like the Titanic due to this person's hateful comments. I didn't do anything to keep her afloat! Come to think of it, we're still not over it.

Over coffee this morning, I read one of my favorite blogs. The author, Molly Blaisdell is a good friend of mine, and every single post she writes resonates with me. Today's post was about the writer's attitude (click on her name to read the post). It occurred to me while reading, regardless of what others say, it's my attitude towards my own writing, that is the key. It is my obligatory duty NOT let others capsize Shana's ship. Thanks, Molly for your thoughts this morning.

It's my reaction that matters, how I allow toxic comments to affect my attitude. I can either allow hurtful words to roll off my shoulder or let them control me and how I feel about my own writing. 

As a creative, I face ridicule every day. We probably all do, in some fashion. But, we can either sit in the corner and pout, or get off our duffs, honoring our writerly muses. 

Today, I make a vow to Shana...to honor, love, protect and serve her. For all her creativity, it's the least I can do.

What about you? How do you treat your muse?




 
 

31 comments:

  1. That's a great attitude! If we live our life according to what others say then we aren't really living our life.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I like what you said about not really living my life if I listen to others. So true.

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  2. Stop by http://1dayiwll.blogspot.com/ to collect the Stylish Blogger Award

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  3. She's a pretty tough girl, this muse of mine. When someone says something negative, she puts her hands on her hips. "Oh yeah? Watch me prove you wrong." I like my sassy muse. She keeps me writing through the rough spots. I'd say she's the one who protects and loves and honors me. ^_^

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    1. What a gift you have in her. :)) I'll try the hip thing. She and I will practice!

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  4. my muse is a guy. prob why most of my mc's are guys...he is always hanging around. and tho he can be moody, he dont need nobody's protection! the little stinker!

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    1. Loving that, Tara! I kind of wish mine was a guy, less sulking!

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  5. I pay attention to her, especially when she sneaks into my mid-section poking and kicking to let me know something isn't right.

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    1. Ooh, I despise being poked in the mid-section. I'd pay attention to her then, too!

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  6. Great post! Be kind to your muse. She's got what it takes. ;)

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    1. Aw, thank you, Emily. I've got a lot to learn about listening to Shana, giving her the go ahead. And, trusting her, too.

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  7. "It's my reaction that matters, how I allow toxic comments to affect my attitude." Too true, Candilynn! :D

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    1. I think it's one of the most difficult things to do. We can't control what others do or say, only our own reactions. Even though I know I should ignore hateful comments, it is soooo very hard. I just want to run to a corner and throw a pity party for myself. Then, I go all crazy-like and want to punch them!

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  8. Stephen Tremp commented at my blog today at my Confession post how he stays happy during the writing process. I also stopped by Creepy Query Girl's blog where she happened to touch on the happiness topic due to a commencement speech given by Neil Gaiman. From Stephen's comment to the happiness reminder at CQG's blog, it's really making me thankful that my muse has stayed with me - though I try to bear in mind it couldn't possibly have anything to do with the chocolate she gets whenever she asks.

    It was silly of me to panic and my muse was there to slap me straight. I think Shana will appreciate your vows...and love you the more for it :-)

    Also, just let me know if I need to put on some tennis shoes for some physical breaking down of whoever it is trying to steal your joy :-)

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    1. I plan on checking by your blog today, and I'll swing by CQG's as well.

      I wonder if chocolate is a suitable peace offering...

      Angela, I just might take you up on it. I think, though, what makes it worse is these are family. They're supposed to love me. I don't get it. But, if I do decide to stick my tongue out, waggle my behind at them, I'll be sure to give you a ring! I think an appropriate payback would be publication. Yeah, that's a total, "Na-na-na-a-boo-boo, stick your head in...!"

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  9. Okay, that was total Shana popping out there in the end of my comment. I wonder how she ever graduated Kindergarten...

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  10. I'm kinda funny in that I don't consciously think about it as my muse. It's a part of me and I protect that part, but I don't see it as a separate persona. It's so interesting how every writer functions differently.

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  11. I agree, Talli. We all function differently. Each one of us. It's interesting, but my creative side / muse likes to take over when I'm driving or walking. It's almost as if I'm being told a story (in my head). The story unfolds and characters develop. It's an amazing process. Thanks for the blog visit. :))

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  12. Writing is a hard business and it's necessary to have someone at your side who's supportive. Friends and family are supportive, but only to a certain extent. I think that's when the muse is so important, someone who's still there when everyone else has left. Those are the important times to remain strong. Treat Shana well and she will take you far! :)

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    1. Thanks for your insightful words, Michael. :))

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  13. My muse is pretty thick-skinned when it comes to others, but much more sensitive if I mistreat her. That's the main thing for me, making sure I don't shortchange her! We have a standing agreement to meet at my desk for coffee every night around midnight, and she gets very upset if I stand her up. Other than that, she's a tough girl. ;)

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    1. Lol, J.W. she sounds like the boss of you. :))

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  14. Oh, darling. Don't let others to put a dumper on your passion for writing. Not everyone likes a certain book, and we, writers, always will experience negative comments here and there. But just embrace your muse and believe in yourself.

    I have to read that post of Angela's. She is such a fantastic girl :-) As for my muse - wow, I have never thought about her name. How rude of me :-) I need to have a talk with the muse and ask that very important question!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Angela. I need to learn how to grow thicker skin, that's for sure!

      Actually, I came up with Shana, short for Shannachie (an Gaelic word for storyteller) a while back. There are different variations of the spelling depending on what part of Ireland you're in. "Seanachai" and "Seanchai" are other words for storyteller, at least that's what research tell me. :)

      I have a lot of Irish in my on my father's side, so I thought it would be a good way to honor that part of me.

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  15. I am really protective of my writing muse! I feel like I have a purpose and nothing is going to get in the way. On a side note, I am sensitive and it does amaze me at how appalling and hurtful some people can be. I am hardwired to react in sadness, but I think that is natural. It is our own moral compass letting us know that we would never treat others that way!

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  16. Thanks for your comments, Susie! I agree. I would never, ever attack someone else and speak ill of them. I always wonder why or how some people can be so ugly to others. Is it something inside of themselves they don't like? Are they as individuals unhappy? I try and convince myself that that must be the case, but it still hurts. Especially, when they are family, which in my case, it was.

    I've found more kindness and respect for my writing with my online peeps than I ever dreamed. I'm so grateful, and ultimately, it's what's kept me going.

    I appreciate your visit, and it's nice to meet you. :))

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  17. Upon responding to Susie's comment here, I realized how much support I've gained by this online writing community.

    I want to take a moment and thank ALL of my blogging friends. It's because of y'all and your support, that I've been able to continue to honor my creative side.

    (((Huge, giant hugs))) to all!

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  18. My muse is pretty hardboiled. And she has an innate sense of which things people say that is BS and what should be paid attention to. Once in a while, she's knocked off her stand, but she's pretty good about dusting herself off and getting back up.

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  19. My skin grows thicker, too, but I have a crit partner who can be toxic to my muse. It can be derailing. I usually talk to the Husband Unit about it ad nauseum. Usually the toxicity comes from someone else's issues and not us. If you really look at it, more often than not, that's the case. And not everyone is our audience. Since I'm publishing, I can't avoid bumping into it. So, I use it to thicken my skin. But that one person often makes me feel as if I'm insane ... Earlier in my journey, I'd axe her out of the scenario. We always need nurturing and support, but it's especially important when we're still trying to find our legs.

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  20. I yell at times, but hug other times. We had a fight recently, but now we have made up. I cherish him now, and never take him for granted, because when he left I was completely lost.

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