I used to have a sign on my door that said:
The Muse Is In
The ‘IN’ was actually a little tile that could be flipped to read ‘OUT’.
A friend of mine saw it and loved it. They thought it was a great idea that I had a sign to protect my creative space. They didn’t understand.
“No, no, no… that sign is for your protection, not mine,” I told her.
Everyone, I believe, has a Muse. Your Muse might be a person or a mood. Mine seems to be this mad state of something needing to come out. Right now. And it’s not going to stop until it’s free and breathing on its own.
It’s really up to you whether you want to visualize this as a tender home birthing moment or that scene in Aliens where Ripley is about to experience a Jiffy-Pop C-section. Both are accurate.
When the Muse comes to visit, I’m a woman in labor who missed her window for an epidural. I can’t cook you dinner. I don’t care who just died on Game of Thrones — I already know it’s everyone. I’m of no use to you at all, and if you’re clever Hobbitses, you will see that the Muse is in and you will stay out, my preciousss.
It doesn’t happen all the time. And it happens far more frequently when I write music. When the music Muse is in, it feels like birth with the bonus of an earworm on the scale of the brain burrower from Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan. But still…
Probably should get another sign. It’s the compassionate thing to do.