Recently VH1 had one of their legendary "Greatest Whatever" countdowns, and this time it was "100 Greatest Artists of All Time." Broad, yes. Broad and long. So while all five hours were on our DVR, I only watched the intermittent bit between loads of laundry or while eating chocolate snacks. That's why I don't know what musician it was who said it (some seventies guy with long hair, but what white guy from the 70s doesn't fall into that category?) Anyway, his words were this: I work for the muse. I was like, dude, right on! Because how he feels when he's writing songs? I bet it's like I feel when I'm writing books. We don't work for the Man, yo. We work for the muse.
I imagine the Man to sound like one of those bosses on cartoons who are always yelling: Jetson?! Flinstone?! Skinner?! I imagine that when you work for the Man and don't do your work, you straighten up and fly right pretty quickly. But when you work for the muse and the muse isn't around? Well, then the muse isn't around. You can do whatever the heck you want.
This is a problem for me, since I've felt a significant absence of muse lately. What do you do if you work for someone who's taken a sabbatical of indefinite length?
Finally, I started doing the only thing I could thing of, which was force myself to write a certain number of words each day, no matter the quality. I've never worked this way before, but it had to be done. At first everything sounded lame. Who would read such a lametastic book? But eventually I felt my groove coming back; my inspiration coming back.
I agree with that seventies singer, but I'd re-puncuate.
I work: for the muse.