I'm asking these questions as I've felt my writing inspiration, for want of a better word, 'missing'? This doesn't mean I cannot write, otherwise I wouldn't be here now. No, what I am saying is that flow, that 'mind pump' (as David Gemmell once called it in a letter he wrote to me), has gone very still and quiet.
I recall the days of my dungeon mastering, starting back when I was 22 years old and onwards. My creativity was rampant. I was fire and enthusiasm. My mind a vivid cinema screen playing out every encounter, scanning every vista and fleshing out every npc. I was not only creating these things, but I was feeling them, experiencing the cold, windswept winds out of the tundra as they bent the tree tops in the valley below, causing huddled villagers sat round their fires, secure in their pathetic little homes to offer up a prayer to the deities they assumed watched over them, or even cared about them. I was also the prowling wolf outside their cattle pens, and the mercenary staring out of a cave mouth with eyes full of hunger and blood.
This was my muse: the passion, the excitement, the love, the energy and innocent ignorance of my youth, and also the wonderful friends I made back in those fantastic times - Master Wayne Assiratti of Random Stream of Consciousness, being one of several of my more long-standing, and original founding group members, and friend - I now know that all those elements, and those wonderful people were my muse back then. For without them and those elements combined, I wouldn't be here now, and you wouldn't be reading these words. Here is a 'thank you' dedicated to all of them.
But what of now?
When I sat my degree in graphic design I was the oldest guy in the class by far - teaching staff not included - but being surrounded by creativity, feeding off the collective energy produce by everyone as a group, I had no problem dreaming ideas and solutions to the problems posed by our tutors. I now know that that was my muse back then.
So recently? Take for example my poem 'Numb', now this came as a result of several things: the word, the emotion, the moment. All combined to produce that poem written in one sitting of less than twenty minutes. I felt as if a door had been opened up inside me and the words flowed, wrapped in emotion and feeling, and watered by, dare I say it, the odd tear or three. I was connected to the moment. Was this MY muse?
Can a muse be regained, or is it something fleeting that we have to accept? Are they spiritual? Is there a multitude of spiritual muses that visit us when they deem us worthy of inspiration, and touch us with their beauty of imagination?
I know that throughout history great artists, writers, and poets has cited their models, loved ones, friends and even their lovers, as their muse. This I can also understand. I have a very close and dear friend who has inspired me, gently pushed me and often caused me to question ideas, methodology and approach to things like my writing, often offering support when I didn't know I needed it, and quite often failing to even recognise it when given. Could they be my muse?
So, is it spiritual, mental, physical? Or everything wrapped up neatly all in one happy little inconspicuous package? Personally I don't think it is a constant. With creativity I know that to draw more you need to draw, to write you need to write more, to paint you need to paint more, ad infinitum.
This is also where I have a problem with even beginning to think of myself as a 'writer'. If I were a writer, then surely I would be writing, no matter what? I should be living, thinking, breathing writing. Shouldn't I also carry a notepad and pen with me where ever I go should the 'muse' touch me?
No, I don't. And I feel bad at times for not doing so, and there are times when I consider myself to be merely a 'dabbler' - not even up to the standard of company I keep within the beautiful blogoverse that has offered me comfort, friendship and inspiration. For that simple reason I cannot, nor could not, call myself a 'writer'.
I hope any of you reading this can offer an insight to your thoughts on the concept of a muse, and even if you feel you have one, or two (oooh, so greedy!), as I'd love to read what you have to say - if anything - on the subject and how it does, or doesn't, affect you and your creativity.
To round this off, here is a video of the band 'Muse' and their song 'Uprising' - thank you for reading :)