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There’s a lot of confusion about the Muses.

Some say they are Greek (well, most cite the Greek mythology), while others believe that Osiris collected them while traveling through Asia and the Middle East. Depending on which oracle you listened to (aka the area of Greece you lived in), they were either the daughters of Zeus and  Mnemosyne or Uranus and Gaia, and possibly nymphs but most likely goddesses (lowercase “g”).

In certain stories, there are three, others there are nine. Their names and function vary wildly.

Regardless of their origin story, the idea of a “muse” has become a standby reality for creatives. Artists especially seem to have a deep love for their muse of choice; finding their muse in others or a single person, some who find it in an inanimate object or experience.

A few tortured souls seem to find their muse at the bottom of a whiskey bottle or sharp point of a needle.

I like the beautiful idea behind a muse, something that will inspire your passion and desire, but I find little comfort and rationale in basing any of your work and decisions on anyone (or anything) else. What will you do if something happens to your muse? How do you handle it if your muse does not answer your beckon call?

People who live for something else, whether it be their muse or other external sources of inspiration and validation, tend to have a lot of excuses and broken dreams. They kept waiting for an outside force to impact their existence, without realizing that the only way to put their work into motion is to take action themselves.

Muses served an important function in Greek canon and the later Roman Pantheon. Apparently, they were involved in Egyptian mythology as well (which I didn’t know ‘til I started researching muses!)

But constantly waiting for yours to provide the inspiration to get a post written or an article published or a book manuscript drafted will leave you with a lot of ideas and dreams of “What if” with nothing to show for it in the end.

I may or may not be speaking from experience here.*