Your Creative Side: Muse or Madness?

Imagine, you are talking to an artist and she says, “you don’t understand me, I have no choice, I must create a work of art.  I have to.  That is how it goes. "

The creative voice that speaks, whispers loud and clear, is called a Muse.  Some people call it an inner voice of creative genius, or attending a spirit guide.  (The word “genius” comes from the word “genie.”  Yes, the same genie in a bottle you may have seen who grants wishes and advice).

The Muse is more active in youth, she shouts, screams, and demands to be expressed.  This is knowledge you will not find in most school curriculum: The study of creativity as a process and development. As we get a older, the Muse may quiet down. Everything moves slower as we get older.  Like a garden that needs to be tended in order to produce fruit, it is good to tend the garden of your Muse on a daily basis.  Does that make you strange?   Are you someone who is creating words, art, dance, or music, or anything you love?  Yes, that makes you strange!   

If you are one of the lucky few, precious few, America’s brilliant few, unrecognized or recognized by others, do your thing!  Early morning, late at night, or anytime in-between.  Let the Muse matter.  I invite you to listen to your creative side when possible.   Take a shower together with your Muse and get wet.  Let her have her way with you, and let the world fall away.  Then stand back, and let your art fly.

There are many dimensions on the spectrum of creativity.  You can be outrageously and brashly talented from a young age, or quietly speaking your art beginning at a late age, or anything in between.  Sometimes creativity manifests in a commercial product and not so much for the sake of “art.”  Like “creative” Apple products breaking new ground.  That is a different kind of artist than a Picasso or Goethe.   The “Graphic artist”  is often commercial.  Questions is:  Can you listen to your Muse.

If you have an inner, creative voice, that speaks clearly, you are among those who can “hear” the Muse speak.  What language do you hear?  Sometimes intuitive whispers.  Sometimes shouts—yet, always a distinct inner voice that points toward creativity.

Let us say you hear that inner voice. Next question, do you have the discipline to practice everyday, doing something special, one thing, until you are extraordinary at doing it?   Discipline is doing, the same thing over and over for years (the same thing can be different every time- like writing or dancing). 

This is less about knowledge or knowing any quantity of study or being super smart.  (Though it is beneficial to study to learn).  Smart is very different than creative.  A successful writer, whose books sold millions, put it this way, “I never know what is going to happen next, when writing my books.  [I let it flow].  And it always works out.  It is like driving down a dark road.  You can only see as far as your headlights, but you keep going, and arrive at your destination.”

Marc Aronoff