Trusting The Muse


When last we left Betsy, she was riding high after publishing her latest book, having survived trials, tribulations, and the obsessive urge to press the “publish” button over and over again. She was even starting to think about taking control of the REST of her life. She was laughing, singing, and dancing in the privacy of her own home.

But now Betsy is sitting like a huddled mass in front of her computer screen, keening softly as she contemplates the display. Whatever is going on? Can her Muse find out what’s wrong?

Let’s see…


*Betsy sits alone in the creative control center portion of her brain* *looks at cockpit of screens arrayed in a semi circle around her* *reaches out a hand to tentatively type on the keyboard* *hesitates* *pulls hand back* *wraps arms around her waist* *begins rocking*

Whatcha doing?

*Betsy jerks upright* What? Where? Who? Oh, it’s you, Muse. *slumps back down* Hi.

*Muse sucks on glittery purple lollipop* *hops up on worktable directly in front of Betsy* *swings feet shod in silver go-go boots*

So what are you doing?

Trying to write.

How’s it going?

I don’t…I think…I’m not sure…

*Muse slurps lollipop* Spit it out, sugar.

*Betsy rocks faster* I just don’t think I can do it again. I think I’m probably a fraud and a failure. I’m pretty sure I don’t have any ideas left. I’m sure I can’t possibly tell a story. My books are crap and so am I.

*Muse considers her* You think?

I’m pretty sure. I’m stupid for even thinking I could do this.

Uh huh. *Muse breaks off lollipop, chews it, and throws the stick away* I was under the impression that you were already writing the next book. You’ve got it plotted out and everything.

*Betsy rocks still faster* Yes, but it’s crap and I’m stupid for even thinking that this is a good idea. I don’t know where the story is.

*Muse leans back on one hand* But when you sit down to write, does something come out?


And is it unexpected and maybe nothing you even thought you could write? And maybe you don’t even know where it came from because you didn’t intend to write that particular thing when you sat down?

*Betsy’s rocking slows* Usually.

So it’s there when you need it, but it might not always be there when you’re just going through your day-to-day life?

*Betsy stops rocking* I guess.

*Muse sits straighter* *spreads her hands* Ta da!

*Betsy frowns at her* Ta da?

*Muse bops her on the head* That’s me, dummy.

Ow. *Betsy rubs the top of her head* Okay. *thinks* *shakes head* Sorry, I don’t get it.

*Muse punches her on the arm now*

Ow! *Betsy rubs her arm* Why are you being mean?

I’m being mean because you’re being a moron. When you sit down to write, when you keep the channel open between us, when you actually work on your stuff every day—

Like I am.

*Muse nods* Like you are, then the story is there when you need it. In fact, the truth is that the story is always there. But when you don’t touch it consistently, your pipe gets clogged and you can’t see it.

*Betsy thinks* But I am working every day.

Yes. But it doesn’t help anything if you’re all hunchy and rocking back and forth on your desk chair and scared to even sit down at the computer because you think you can’t “do it”, whatever “it” is. The story is there. It will come out of you if you let it. You have to trust me.

*Betsy pouts* I don’t think “hunchy” is a real word.

I’m the Muse. I make stuff up. And that right there is what I’m talking about. Don’t try to change the subject. Focus.

*Betsy pouts some more* I am focused. You’re saying that if I don’t doubt myself, if I keep working, that the story will happen. If I build it, you will come.

*Muse sighs* *jumps down from desk to sit on arm of Betsy’s chair* *puts arm around Betsy’s shoulders* I’m saying that you will doubt yourself. That’s what you humans do, at least as far as creative stuff goes. In the back of your mind, you might think you’ll never be able to create something again. You’ll think that you’re being stupid and that you should stop. You’ll think that you’re wasting your time and that people will laugh at you or, even worse, ignore you and what you’re putting out in the world. You’ll think you’re a fraud.

*Betsy slumps* I do.

*Muse shakes her a little bit* But what I’m telling you is that you need to ignore it. You need to keep going in spite of all that. Because if you reach out, I’ll be there.

*Betsy frowns* I think that’s a song.

*Muse shrugs* I like songs.

*Betsy frowns* So, keep going in spite of all of these thoughts? Don’t let them stop me?

*Muse squeezes her shoulders* I’m there. The story is there. The world of imagination is there. The birth of creation is there. You’ve heard your whole life that they’re not there. You’ve heard your whole life that you have to be the same as everyone else. That’s the lie.

*Betsy straightens* I should keep going

Yes. *Muse kisses her cheek* *Stands* Keep going.

*Muse vanishes*

Okay.  *Betsy turns back to keyboard*


To be continued…






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