Muse BS and Why It’s Hurting Your Art

So you consider yourself a “Creative Type”? That means you’ve either spent your life being told you’re special and sensitive or you’ve been told that you’re a useless dreamer that needs to get a haircut and a real job. (Whoa flashback…)

If you consider yourself a creative type and want to feel you’re special go read this Article and don’t come back.

If you want the truth go read the article and come back to read the rest of this post.

Lies

You came back, great. Do you feel like you were just submerged into a giant vat of corn-syrup?

I’m not going to comment on all the points. Most of them are just sily.

First off there is no such thing as a creative type. It’s the same crap as the myth of “Talent”. My definition of creative type: Do you create something? Yes? You’re a creative type. The text before the list does say that everyone can be a creative type.

The biggest lie is the first point in the article:

They work when the work comes to them…meaning that they only paint, draw, write, sew, dance, or write out business plans when they feel like it. Creative people know the mind performs best in small bursts of concentrated work.

If you consider yourself creative and you only create when you feel like it then you’re doing it wrong. That might seem like a harsh judgement but it’s true. The only way to improve or get anything done is by doing it. Even when you don’t feel it!

The myth of the magical muse that will spray you with inspiration is not only a myth it’s an excuse to not create.

Try telling this to a woman who's giving birth.
This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Sometimes you need to force things.

If creating something was as easy as waiting for inspiration or a muse, everyone would be doing it and Memes like this wouldn’t happen.

Dangerous

It takes ten years, or a million words, or ten thousand hours, to get good at something. If you waste your time waiting for inspiration you’ll never get to that point. (Something I wish I’d been told at 18.)

Art takes work. I know that’s not what you want to hear but it’s hard, it hurts, and it takes a long time.

If you don’t work through the difficulties and wait for magical assistance, you’ll never create anything.

That’s the danger of making creating something mystical, it gives people an excuse not to do it. Only the chosen ones can create. So many times people say, I’d love to do this but I’m not good enough.

If a 5 year old kid told his parents he wanted to be a soccer player but he felt he didn’t have the talent they’d laugh and tell him to practice. Why don’t we do that with artistic pursuits?

Hard Truth

No one is born with the talent for art. No more than they’re born with the talent to walk or talk. They are learned skills that you have to work at. I haven’t worked that hard at the walking thing and the bruises on my legs prove it.

What you are born with is an incredible mind and body that can learn and adapt. The important thing is to do it and then re-do it over and over again.

Will your first attempts suck? Hell yes.

Will it be worth it? Immeasurably! You know that feeling when you listen to a great piece of music, read a great book, see a great movie, hear a great line, or see a great piece of art? You know that feeling of elation that comes with it, and the need to share it with others? Now Imagine, that you could see that in someone because of something you created. Effectively seeing someone geek out over what you’ve created.

That feeling combined with the sense of accomplishment is one of the greatest feelings I have ever had.

Be Your Own Muse

Go out there and make something, bring something new into the world. Prove to all the evil out there that you can make something beautiful.

It will be hard but all you need is a way to make yourself do it, even when you don’t want to. Make a schedule, set up a system of awards, create deadlines, do what works to make you work.

Use Habit, Persistence, Stubbornness, and hard work to create your own muse; one of practice and experience.

And when you feel like you can’t or it’s too hard, remember the feeling of joy and power you get when you create.

 

Good Luck and You should be creating,

Éric

Sharing is awesome!

6 thoughts on “Muse BS and Why It’s Hurting Your Art”

  1. This is a really great rant.

    (Though I would hasten to add that like any vocation, creativity may be a calling and thus only some are really suited to the rigours of that life… that said, everyone can and should create)

    Reply
  2. The meme really motivated me. I think I need to go write now.
    I’m disappointed you didn’t use the metaphor you used when we were discussing this last night. It was a really good one!

    Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing the “article” (can I double quote this, because it’s that worthy of sarcasm?) if only to show what stupidity people put online! Wow, was that ever an insult to ANYONE who has ever successfully used their creativity to make a living. EVER!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.