Monday, October 26, 2009

A letter to My Ex-Muse

So it seems I'm stuck in a sorry little village called Writer's Block located somewhere between Rejection (an overpopulated ghost town teeming with lost souls and dusty manuscripts) and Bestseller (a mythical land of editors with my number on speed dial and roads paved with royalties).

The strange, most disgusting thing about this is that I have these two brilliant ideas stuck in my head, but when I sit down to write those stories, I get nothing but static. It's like the translator between my mind and my fingers has suddenly gone mute.

Normally, I'd try to find a quiet place, maybe a soothing cup of herbal tea, some inspirational emo. But frankly, I think this to be a most uninspired solution. I think, perhaps, I stand a better chance of unleashing the creative genius within if I were to commune with my Muse instead. So, here goes:

Dearest Calliope,

You filthy, lying harlot. I know you're cheating on me.

Still, I am not so self-absorbed that I can't look at this objectively. I realize now that it was vain of me to assume that I might be enough for you. Truly, it hadn't occurred to me that my own personal setbacks might push you away.

I apologize for irritating you by claiming to have a headache. I swear upon my dear Aunt Gertie's grave that I wasn't lying, but I understand how you might have taken this to be a slight of some kind.

Yet I cannot understand how you could abandon me now during this heartbreaking chapter of my writing life. Oh, the fickleness of your heart wounds me, Calliope! Have you no sympathy? No shame? Where is your loyalty? Your patience? Your love?

I thought what we shared was special. We made a beautiful thing together. It doesn't matter to me if the entire world believes our baby to be hideous and smelly. It will always be beautiful to me. Is it not the same for you?

Oh Calliope, you heartless adulterer. It's not enough that you leave me stranded, but must you take up residence with others? The cruelty, Calliope! The pain you have caused me!

And yet, I still need you like a pen needs ink to find worth. If you must flit in and out of my life, then do so. But please promise me that you will always return. Please! I don't care if you return to me smelling of someone else's bookbinding-glue perfume. Even if you have ink stains on your collar, I will always take you back, as much as it pains me to share you.

Blast it, forgive me for the harshness of my earliest words (I haven't acquired an editor to delete them). I promise, from now on, I will do my part and make myself a partner worth your inspiration―if you will only return to me.

Yours in faithful longing and pathetic need,


Oh wow. That worked. Back to writing. What do you do to get unstuck?


  1. writer's block is the worst. ick.
    I'd love to know how it is that writing to your muse helps to rouse her.
    What I have to do is talk to people. Like real conversations. It really spurs ideas, creativity. Small get-togethers with friends are great for this! Also, there are certain friends I talk to who just get my muse up and going.

  2. I'm reminded of that scene in "Garden State" where Natalie Portman encourages Zach Braff to engage in the most totally original thing he's ever done to wash away the...un-original-ness.

    It sometimes works for the block as well but I tend to look like a bit of a douche, because I'm always walking out into the back garden to move my body like Barry White in trouble with an electric toaster.

    It's not pretty - but it is original.


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