For a number of months this year, I seemed to be without inspiration to write. I told my writer and author friends about it and they made various suggestions from taking a course, walking in the the country, going on holiday or even falling in love. As I struggled with my seeming barrenness, I came across a poem in a notebook that challenged me to reconsider my dependence on the Muse. I had written it in a ten minute slot at a summer school at Millers Yard, an exciting Alternative Living Centre in the city of York. Having decided to use the Creative Writing class as the centre for my piece, I approached the event with trepidation....what if I couldn't write on tap? I thought to myself. Lizzie Linklater the instructor was inspiring and encouraging as she hurled people into the art of creative writing with nothing more than a brief introduction and an "Okay, you have ten minutes to write a story on 'My Memory of London'. Amazingly, I did not stare at the paper for a moment! Off I went and in ten minutes had my story written...of course, it was a first draft, but a story nonetheless.
That Saturday afternoon, I learned that if the Muse was not around, I should not wait for inspiration, but rather, create inspiration for myself. Now I actively look for ideas in the exciting and different, and yes, even the ordinary and mundane that goes on around me every day.
I have come to see for me at least, that the Muse is as much about me throwing excuses to the wind and beginning to engage with whatever is to hand.