You may be wondering why so many entries lately have been writing and/or criticism related instead of fifteen-minute movies (Avengers excepted) or something less ranty. Well, part of it is that I haven’t seen a lot of movies lately (I can’t wait for Iron Man 3!). The other part is that my Muse is inspiring me to write critical rants. I’ve mentioned before that I have a Muse and maybe some of you are wondering what I mean by that. Do I mean I literally worship a Greek goddess? And if so, which one of the nine? Or do I mean I have a Muse as in an anthropomorphic personification of inspiration? Or are those really the same questions? I suppose that depends on your interpretation.
But first, a little background since I’m slightly pedantic that way. The Muses (all three, or later and more accepted nine) were goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. They were the daughters of Zeus (but let’s face it; most people of importance in Greek mythology were offspring of Zeus) and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, except for those origins in which they are not (also common in Greek mythology). In modern English the Muses refer to artistic interpretation, which is my use of the word. If I were calling on a particular one, I would name her (probably Thalia). My use of the Muse is probably due to having an English literature teacher parent.
Okay, mythology lesson completed. I am going to rant and rave about my Muse because she is so fickle (I use “she” since the Muses were women but really the pronoun doesn’t matter). As I said, the reason you’re getting a glut of writing and comic book related blogs lately is because that is what I feel inspired to write. This is frustrating because what I need to write are more short stories for my new “Nevermore” collection due by Halloween of this year. But noooo, my Muse is pointing me to towards snarky blog entries, so you’re getting snarky blog entries. And I’ll tell you it’s not as though these take less time to write that the short stories I need to finish, especially ones with lots and lots of links. However, if I think links make it better, I will include links. I’m not actually trying to put down any old thing just to move on to something else.
I have tried to ignore my Muse. I really had to ignore my Muse when I wrote a very important piece of technical writing that my whole career hinged on but for some reason my perverse Muse was pushing me to write an epic fantasy novel. Conversely, when I push myself to write on something and I’m not inspired, I really don’t make a lot of progress (see the rant on Writer’s Block). It’s as though my fevered writer brain can only hold so much inspiration and if I don’t pour it out onto the word processor, the brain won’t fill up with anything new. However, ignoring the Muse does not transfer the inspiration to the tasks I feel I need to work on. I once wrote nearly 200 pages of fan fiction just because I could not get inspired to write anything else. I write what I am moved to write. Ironically, even though all the Greek Muses classically had domain over various forms of poetry, my Muse very rarely inspires me to that particular writing form, which may be for the best. There is bad writing, and then there is bad poetry.
While the classic interpretation of the Muse is that she inspires great works (or the Orm, if you’ve ever read that story), I guess I should clarify that inspiration by my Muse doesn’t necessarily lead to good stuff, or to stuff anyone is ever going to see. Sometimes I just have ideas that need to be worked with and by the time I’m done working them, I realize the end result is just not appropriate for my current writing project. I try to keep something I think is well written in case I can use it later, but sometimes it just languishes in my own personal development hell. Or sometimes when I write something I know it will never see the light of day but I must get it out of my head so new inspiration can flow in (such as the aforementioned fan-fic).
Consider all of this insight into the fine art of writing. Which, as demonstrated in a “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” skit about Thomas Hardy, would actually make a terrible reality TV show. At least you’ll be spared that. The point of all of this is – I need to see more movies.