May 3, 2010

Invite the Muse to Tea

My muse is not happy with me.

She has caught wind of all the niceties Julia Cameron lavishes on her writer-self to care for Inspiration. In our reading of The Right to Write this week, Cameron reveals the wooing:

I explain…that I take my writer out for treats, that I buy it expensive coffee concoctions with foam like clouds. I take my writer on train rides to write and admire the view. I buy my writer journals, race-along-pens, an embroidered writing chair that I place by the window with good light. I try not to bully my writer or attack it. I try not to make it write only “should” without also writing “want-tos”. My writer has learned to trust me, to enjoy my company, and to treat me well back.

What about me? Muse asks, petulantly. All you’ve ever given me is sleep deprivation.

I had no idea, I tell her. I had no idea this was part of it all.

But this is not entirely true. Haven’t I felt the romance? Don’t I know how writing seduces? I know this love affair with words must be nurtured and fed just as sure as any relationship. But like a pampered lover, I wait for Muse to come to me. And then I wonder why she sometimes does not show up. I am like Cameron’s young friend Regine who wants to be ravaged, swept away, “taken” by her writing.

Cameron says:

I do understand. Sometimes my writing takes me like a fevered lover…More often, my writing and I meet halfway like a couple who wants to make love amid a busy week and don’t know quite how to get started… I have been encouraging Regine to invite her creative pregnancies, to pay attention to her stirrings, to invite the Muse to tea at regular hours to see if her writing can become a little less mysterious and more matter-of-fact.

Invite the Muse to tea? Really?

I like hot chocolate, she says. With just a dollop of whipped cream. I'm watching my figure, you know.

We sit by the window and sip our creamy mocha from heavy mugs. Something about the way the light moves through the glass brings to mind a childhood memory. It feels so close--so real--that tears begin to mist at the corners of my eyes. She reaches over and touches my hand.

Thank you, I say.

You are most welcome.

She grins as she lowers the mug to the table. And I can’t help noticing the faint mustache of froth on her upper lip.

In our book club discussion this week, Julia Cameron talks about nurturing our writer, writing as appetite, how mood plays into this writing life, and the importance of keeping the drama on the page.

What spoke to you this week? Come share in the discussion, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Related posts:

L.L.’s Julia Cameron Meets ProBlogger

Glynn's The Poetry that Surrounds Us

Nancy's Mood Altering

Cassandra's Living With My Writer

nancy's thoughts and dreams

Monica's The Sincerity of Pretense

Cassandra's Word Play

Lyla's Getting My Foot in the Iron Door

Melo's Day Two on Day One

Melo's Day Three

Melo's Day Four

Marilyn's Chasing Down Blind Alleys

Marilyn's Waiting for the Mood to Strike

Erin's Writing Treasures in Everyday Life

photo, blue teacup, by Laura, used with permission. Post by Laura too.


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