Friday, September 14, 2012

The Muses Return...and bring their joy.



The universe has sneaky ways to remind me of things I’ve conveniently forgotten. Kudos to the universe. It’s light-years ahead of me in the smarts’ department ( like that’s news).

The first tap came last weekend when I spotted and purchased a framed quote in a gift shop—more of a slap than a tap. Here’s the quote:

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” –Tyler Knot Gregson

The quote hangs in my bathroom, where I will read it every morning.

The second El Kabong came as I replanted a clump of volunteer clover. A small grey rock with the word JOY etched on one side fell from its hidey-hole in a stack of planters. This rock, a gift from a friend many years ago, had vanished amidst the garden rubble. Add to this: clover is associated with luck. Double whack.

The word JOY is one letter away from being the word JOB.

How many times recently have I transformed writing into a job rather than a joy? Too many. Many seminars I’ve attended in the past few years have focused on the “work” of writing. The phrase wormed into my heart and my joyful creative life turned into a toil, a struggle, a JOB. Shame on me for insulting the muses.

Third knock on the noodle came via author Cheryl Strayed. I devoured her creative nonfiction “Wild”, then moved on to order “Tiny Beautiful Things,” a book filled with questions and answers once published as an advice column.

One selection reminded me to simply write…that it is my joy, my calling, my purpose. To quit worrying about whether this book or that one will land in the hands of some New York publisher: that is not my concern. So many things in this life are clearly chance, fate… My mission is to WRITE THE BEST BOOK I CAN.

The importance of  perfecting the craft can’t be downplayed. And it gets both easier and harder, the longer I do it. The necessity of approaching agents, yammering on Facebook and Twitter, and networking still exists. No one is going to show up at my door, contract in hand, and sweep me away in a limo. It’s up to me to do my part.


I pledge to allow joy to overshadow jabber. My clutch of muses—a temperamental inbred bunch who hate Southern humidity and flee for Canada in late May—are back. Glad to see y’all. Missed you. Hope you’re ready to dance, because this writer is ready to lead, or follow.

I don’t need a fourth clobber to get it. I’m smart that way.