I Am Sorry - A Letter To My Muse - Dangerously Genocidal


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Thursday, 20 November 2014

I Am Sorry - A Letter To My Muse

Dear Muse,

I started the original draft of this letter while I was quite frustrated. As you know, it is National Novel Writing Month and I have been drawing creativity from every source I can get my hands on to finish this book in time. But now - while I need you most - you seem to be constantly hiding, finding excuses and just generally proving to be unhelpful.

I finished a long letter - read RANT - about why you should be around, how disappointed I am, and how I was going to chain you up once you finally got back. And when I was done, I sat back, feeling better and quite self justified, staring at the pages filled with ink.

It took all of five minutes before I regretted writing that letter. In those five minutes, something amazing happened, something which I can barely describe. You see, my dear muse, in those five minutes I suddenly realized I thought of you not just as some mythical force, but a powerful creative entity that was an extension of myself. I thought of you as a living being in those minutes - and I felt horrible. I reread those pages several times, and I realized what a horrible mistake I had made.

Because you see, Muse, I can't blame you

I can't blame you for wanting to hide away from someone who would write such a letter, just like I would hide myself if someone wanted to do those things to me.
I expect you to be around whenever I demand it, no questions asked, no excuses given.
I expect you to come with creativity and ideas in hand, and to keep delivering when I feel that the ones you've tried to inspire me with aren't good enough.
I expect you to stay as long as I need you to, without rest, without breaks, without some time to stew in subconscious creative juices and come up with something new.
I expect you to be happy with these circumstances, where I'm prone to complain about your lack of work and dedication, your constant escapes, and rant, rave and insult you all the time.

If my boss wrote me a list of expectations like that, I would NEVER work for him. I would quit my job or sue him! And yet, here I was, writing out a whole letter demanding that you explain why you weren't following those rules.

And I came to realize a few very important things:

I realized that maybe you kept running away because I kept trying cage you and force you to work.
I realized that maybe you enjoyed coming on your own, and that you don't appreciate being summoned like a dog or slave.
I realized that even muses need time to rest, time to themselves, so that they can deliver later.

I realized that you are incredibly dedicated and understanding. You give and you give, and it's never enough. And on the few occasions when you actually get the chance to come up with a great idea, and can't wait to show it to me, I complain that you are being active at the worst possible time.


I imagine that if you were a physical person, you would be one of the unhappiest, most depressed people in existence. And nobody would care.

When I started this letter, I'd planned to rant about how horrible you are, and how you were failing me.

Instead, I'd like to say: THANK YOU.

Thank you for always making some effort to show up, even when you hate that I called you.
Thank you for always coming with some ideas, even if they aren't the best. You take the abuse, the insults, the mockery, and you can't say anything about it - and you take some more after you get back from hiding out.
Thank you for always coming back, and sticking with me despite everything. I can't imagine how many times you've wanted to leave and never come back
Thank you for always trying to inspire me, and caring for my creative self.

You might not walk around or talk, or have a physical body, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't respect you or that creative part of myself. It does mean that you need someone to speak out for you, someone who cares. It's unfortunate that that someone just so happens to be the worst offender, ME, but I'll try harder.

In short, Muse, this letter is a promise.

I promise I'll try harder to see your side of things. 
I promise I'll understand when you need a break.
I promise I'll take a closer look at your ideas, no matter how horrible they may seem, and try to find the good in them.
I promise to actually work with you rather than expecting you to do all the work.

And most important: I Promise to respect you - you who are a part of me, an extension of my being and my creativity - and in so doing respect myself.

With all my love,
Your Writer

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