“O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!”
-Dante Alleghieri, The Inferno
Creativity doesn’t always come easily. There are periods when we struggle to find some source of inspiration, only to find ourselves staring a blank screen, paper, or canvas. That divine spark of creativity eludes us and we are left in the dark. We grope around searching for some small flicker to illuminate the way. It can be incredibly frustrating when the light will not show itself and we are left without the inspiration we so desperately need.
Yet, there are times when the Muses grace us and inspiration illuminates every corner of our lives. If we give even the appearance of floundering, hands reach out to steady us and reassure us that our work is worthy. Perfect ideas come from out of nowhere and we suddenly find our creativity flows like an endless river.
I’m happy to say that I was fortunate enough to have a muse standing over my shoulder and managed to begin the second draft of my NaNoWriMo novel (that’s National Novel Writing Month: http://www.nanowrimo.org). Descriptions that had eluded me were suddenly flowing easily and several points that had caused previous difficulty resolved themselves with a few strokes of my pen. Even in a moment of doubt, when I thought to myself that writing is no game for mere mortals, I suddenly found myself talking to a writer and his editor who had taken the table next to mine. In the last five years, I’ve not run into a serious writer. Yet, here I was exchanging pleasantries with people in the business. Serendipity is a wonderful friend to have.