I’m in “The Zone.” Freshly brewed coffee tantalizes my nose. The whir of the espresso machine and drone of conversation fades to background music.
When the muse visits, a writer’s environment becomes inconsequential.
She sings her siren song. Her whispers spur my fingers to ever higher speeds on the annoying bluetooth keyboard attached to my tablet.
Not a chance I can keep up. Her tempo could challenge an Indy 500 winner. The music floods through me, vibrating in my chest like the deepest notes of a free-standing bass.
Why does she visit me today – in this place? The past few days, she refused to even glance in my direction.
Is she capricious? Did I offend her with my indecision about what project to tackle next?
As much as I’d like to understand her whimsy, there’s no time for interviews. I must capture her warm breeze of inspiration and translate it to words on the page.
My fingers cramp. The low battery warning flashes across my screen. Can I even risk the time it takes to find the power cord? Is there a power outlet nearby?
Ms. Muse laughs with abandon. A quirk of her fingers warns of her intention to move along. I must keep up or lose the creative spark she lends my story.
Ancient Greeks called her genius. I don’t want the responsibility of such a title. I long for a few dabbles of it in the beginning of my latest work. No agent could reject the writing of a genius, could they?
So, I type on until the red bar in the upper right corner fades to black.
Thankfully, there is this thing called auto-save.
And voice recording. But that requires me to leave the sweet-smelling coffee shop behind.
People stare at me, sitting in the front seat of my car and talking. To no one they can see.
It’s not as easy to catch the words when my voice overwhelms the fading chant of the muse. I press on until the spark fades.
With a sigh, I return to the regular press of writing. It’s my job to put words on the page. I love the creative process.
My sadness spurs from the knowledge that my words pale, lacking the genius of what came before.
Perhaps, my inspiration will visit again tomorrow. Either way, I’ll be tapping away at the keys, content to fill the file with my own ideas.
I’m a writer. I write – with genius when she calls – but more often from the well of my own soul.
What helps you call up your muse? Do you feel your words are sub-par when the inspiration isn’t guiding you? What keeps you writing – no matter what?