Muse Me

A week since Egypt and I have failed to post my magnum opus covering our travels there. It is sitting half written in my drafts folder. Maybe I will finish it one day soon when I have a spare number of moments.

First, a brief update. I am full steam ahead on the Writing Industries Conference 2008. If you are debating buying a ticket then stop. Just buy one. It will be worth the expenditure I promise. I completed my review of Cabinet des Fees this week. It should be up on The Fix next week. ‘Rings’ has returned some positive comment and an expression of interest from two markets. I need to think about a re-write for the last two scenes. Hopefuly I can find one or two free evenings this week to make that happen. And next year is National Year of Reading, which I am now revving up for on behalf of Leicester Libraries. Watch this space for more.

Muses.  They have been much on my mind in recent weeks. There is a short essay by Ray Bradbury called ‘How to Keep and Feed a Muse.’ I am yet to read it (if anybody happens to have a copy please shout) but the title alone has generated quite a bit of thought. I don’t imagine a muse as a person, female or otherwise. (There is a wonderful issue of Sandman where a writer captures one of the greek muses and keeps her prisoner in his house, which gives him great artistic success although he later pays the price.) I understand the muse as that first moment of imagination and excitement that spurs you to write a story. Writing is amazing when the muse is strong. When the muse is gone it is a terrible slog. I’ve been playing around with ways to keep a muse well fed. There have been some positive results but I’m still looking for good muse care tips. Any thoughts from you literary folks about how to keep a muse happy and contented?

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

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