The Muse

When I get a good idea from the Muse I like to say it out loud. It feels like it becomes real when it has been spoken. Spiritual texts back me up on this. Something comes into existence by being spoken. In the beginning there was the word, and it was good. Or as the Babylonian creation myth said (even as I am writing this I am thinking – is this over the top? What the heck, we are writers! ):

When on high the heaven had not been named,

Firm ground below had not been called by name,

When primordial Apsu, their begetter,

And Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all,

Their waters mingled as a single body,

No reed hut had sprung forth, no marshland had appeared,

None of the gods had been brought into being,

And none bore a name, and no destinies determined–

20120208-Queen_of_the_Night_(Babylon)The thing is, I also find that if I talk about the idea in detail, I feel like I lose the energy to get it on paper. When the idea comes to me, mystically, there is a certain internal discomfort until it has been made visible. Captured and preserved. This is writer’s gold. It drives me to sit in front of the computer or grab a pad of paper and get it down. Anything to take it out of my head and make it visible because it feels very valuable and I fear loosing it in my memory.


What I have learned is that saying it out loud in detail feels better but I think it is a false relief. It is like I imagine it is scribed in the brain of the listener for future reference, or they will carry the ball for me until I need it. In reality they probably have less drive to remember it than I do.  I think it is a disrespect for the muse, and maybe laziness.

It was my Muse, only I can do it justice. I think the Muse chose me because the idea is best filtered through my senses to become visible. Someone else will do it differently. Ultimately, saying your idea outloud is a false sense of comfort and maybe a bout of insecurity. To write you have to believe that you are the best person to share the story, that the way you interpret the world is interesting and meaningful.

So, here is how I have figured out my relationship to the Muse. She gives me a gift and I am meant to receive it and do my best to give it my authentic expression. She chose me and who am I to question her judgement. I need to give the idea a name so it will come into existence, and I can share that name with friends. To me friends are people who want me to be all I can be and will check in to make sure I am not neglecting myself. And then I have to bottle that energy and let the discomfort drive me to get the idea on the page.

I’d be curious to know what other people’s relationship is with their writing muse. Do you have a ritual?



About Kim Hudson

KIM HUDSON Author of The Virgin’s Promise I grew up in the Yukon, as what I would describe as a Hero’s daughter with a Cinderella Complex. Basically life taught me many of the things I needed to know to write my first book, The Virgin's Promise. It is on a story structure for a character that needs to connect to who she really is, separate from what everyone else expects of her. It uses movie example and is equally applicable to any kind of story telling. I spent the first half of my career first as a field geologist and later as a federal land claims negotiator. It was the 80's and I was proving I could do whatever men could do. I also learned that I am fascinated with masculine/feminine dynamics. Exploring my feminine side became important to me as I raised my two daughters. This lead me to study Writing for Film and Television at Vancouver Film School, and take courses on mythology, feminism and psychology including a Jungian Odyssey in Switzerland. The theory of the Virgin's journey was developed by closely observing the archetypal expressions that are all around us in movies, music, television, advertisements and stories of personal growth, including my own. In my posts I want to introduce an archetypal structure that expands the work of Joseph Campbell on the Hero's journey to include a feminine archetype. I hope it will create stories about women and men who follow their spiritual, sexual or creative awakening, otherwise known as their feminine side. I’ve tried to use examples of male and female Virgins to show this. So go ahead and explore the ideas, tell me what movies you liked and what stories you think is also a Virgin pathway, or stories of your own personal Virgin journey.
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4 Responses to The Muse

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Kim, I think I am my own muse. My mind. My imagination. My gut. I don’t think of my ideas are coming from an outside force, though some of my ideas might be inspired by what I hear, see or learn. And when I get an idea, I have to write it down – immediately if possible – because otherwise it’s likely to disappear. In fact, even as I scribble it down, the mysterious thing that shone so brightly in my mind disappears. Like a light dimming. And what’s left often doesn’t seem so shiny. Other times, though, I can build on it, and those are the times I love. Yet I still mourn the other ideas that flew away.

  2. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi Kim,

    I come up with a lot of my ideas at night, probably because my mind is quiet, lol. It’s not all gold but it’s enough to start with usually and triggers other ideas. Ideas themselves usually stay exciting for me; it’s when I outline a whole story that the creativity dims.

  3. Kim Hudson says:

    I love that notion of being your own muse. And it is so true that the best ideas come to me in the morning. Jung felt we were closest to our unconscious first thing in the morning – which I take to mean we can turn our attention inward when there is not too much external information coming at us.

    Creativity is so interesting. We all seem to know that you have to capture inspiration when it strikes because it will fade.

  4. Kim, I love this post. I tend to turn this over and over, looking at them for all angles, think and dream about them, sometimes for years, before I finally write them down. Although I usually write the first snippets out when they come to me. This seems to anchor them to me, and keep them alive for me.

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