The Routine Muse

 The blank page…it’s intimidating for a writer and an artist — but it’s all we have at the beginning of the day.

I sat down yesterday, two weeks into social distancing from SARS-CoV-2, and I couldn’t figure out what to write. And I couldn’t figure out what to draw.

The blank page was about to win the fight, but that’s Resistance talking. And I talk a lot about Resistance, so I figured that’s what I would keep talking about today.

How I found the Muse, anyway…

Here’s the thing — the Muse only shows up if you do. Resistance won against my best efforts on Sunday and Monday. We came to a draw on Tuesday.

Life gets in the way sometimes. Especially during global pandemics that make grocery shopping a high-tension activity. I wasn’t able to show up, so my Muse didn’t either.

So I accepted the losses and draws that occurred earlier in the week and I came to the drawing board and the keyboard with a fresh set of eyes. I was ready to smack Resistance in the face whenever it reared its ugly head.

But Resistance smacked back and kept my Muse away. I typed and typed, but couldn’t make anything sound good. I deleted and deleted…and got frustrated and walked away.

Wait? I walked away? Yes. I walked away to another creative activity and got to work on repetitive basic drawings to help me find my flow. If Resistance wins in one arena, I’ll find my Muse in another.

Be relentless

Sometimes that’s what it takes. Sometimes you have to show up and plug away until your Muse lands on your shoulder and whispers in your ear. And sometimes she won’t show.

That’s a lesson my wife had to learn yesterday, as well.

She sat down to write during her trade-off time in the office and couldn’t get anything to work. She sat in here until it was time to trade back, and she kept trying.

But the muse didn’t visit her. And that’s alright because she still showed up. She did the work, it just didn’t work. That’s okay – the Muse might visit her next time because she’ll know when Haley is working.

Let me repeat what I said earlier — if you don’t show up, neither will the Muse. I’m incredibly proud of my wife for showing up and doing the work, even though it was frustrating and she didn’t accomplish what she wanted.

The Muse is more important than ever…

I do my best to welcome my Muse into my life every day. Sometimes I’m rude and don’t let her in, and sometimes she doesn’t show up when I’d like her to.

Now that everyone is isolating themselves — your Muse, my Muse, my wife’s Muse…they’re all more important than ever. How often do you get the chance to sit down with your laptop, journal or sketchbook and just…wait?

Because you have that opportunity now if you’ll make it a regular part of your day. If you invite the Muse in…she might show up.

And she’ll definitely help pass the time by helping you create something that’s uniquely…you. Show up for her, and she’s much more likely to show up for you.

After drawing for about an hour, then going on a bike ride with my family and drawing some more, the Muse finally graced me with her presence and let me write this article. Now I have drawings to share, writing to share, and my hope is that you’ll have the same thing by the time you finish working today.

Go out, make something, and share it with the world.

Has your Muse helped you create anything interesting, amazing, or unique lately? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

2 thoughts on “The Routine Muse”

  1. I totally understand this as I’m going through something similar. My brain is stuck on finishing web projects so I’m doing minimal art making. I’ll ride this wave for a bit then I’ll be back to art making soon. Thanks for the post!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top