So, as I lay me down to sleep last night, I realized…yesterday’s post encouraging any creative type – be you graphic artist, writer, sculptor, web designer – to assassinate your muse left out one critical point. At the risk of sounding a little too much like a bad rendition of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, YOU MUST KEEP ITS HEART.
There, I said it. You’ve got to do the bloodiest thing imaginable.
Because the Muse’s heart is PASSION. Remember Passion?
Now it seems, I may have unintentionally given the definition of Passionate when I initially described Passion yesterday. I talked about it being a strong feeling or belief, and now look up the definition today, and it talks about uncontrollable emotion?
Uncontrollable emotion is what we don’t want. We talked about this, remember?
Emotions Are Liars
Imagine Skeletor calling in sick one day. Who would He-Man defeat? Or would Evil Lyn take over and destroy Eternia? Who know? Either way, heroes and villains don’t get to call in sick.
But there are days our emotions would like us to.
I want to draw a distinction here between emotion and mood and the very real symptoms of a mental illness or disorder. I’ve mentioned before that I struggle with a few chronic conditions. (I finally have some suspicions as to a cause, but we’ll see how things turn out.) Because of these conditions, if I don’t take necessary, consistent steps to take care of myself, there are days when I really CANNOT get out of bed. Even for those of you without a chronic illness, mental or otherwise, there are days where it’s better to stay in bed and recover. If you’ve come down with a major flu, and you’re better off taking a few days to recover, then buckling down to get back at it again? Do it.
Health is important. Never sacrifice your health for your art.
On the other hand, I know the difference between a day when my Major Depression has leaded down every limb with the weight of a thousand neutron stars, and a day where I just don’t feel like getting out of bed because the ideas seem ragged, nothing wants to come out my fingers, and I don’t know where to start.
In the second case, my emotions have me convinced I’d be better off waiting “til I CAN write” to sit down in front of my computer and put anything down. This is why emotions are dirty, rotten liars with as much sense as a meth-addicted gnat.
From Passion to Passionate Drive
Remember the fireworks earlier? Those are Passion. They shoot blazing into the air, sparkle for a few glorious seconds, and fizzle back into the dark, perhaps leaving a trail of dusty smoke that lights up as the next blaze ignites.
This is why a fresh Muse Heart glows. Unfortunately, it doesn’t glow for long. If you’re not careful, it can fizzle without proper preservation. What our goal is, is to take the still-glowing heart and preserve it into a constant beacon that will sear through those emotional currents of, “Maybe another day.”
We want to take the brightness of the firework, and turn it into something more like this.
Yes, that is a picture of a star. A star is a self-sustaining ball of gas hanging in the middle of a void. It gives off its own heat, its own light, and is responsible for sustaining life on other planets as well, both Earth and fictional worlds.
THAT’S what we need. We need DRIVE. We ALL have the PASSION for our work. We need to take that Passion out of the Unholy Trinity that turns it into the Muse, and turn it from a few second firework into a long-burning, self-sustaining fusion reactor that informs our dedication to get down to cases every day, no matter what those pesky Emotions are telling us, and DO. OUR. CRAFT.
Once again, Inspiration happens any time you have the desire to do something. Even if it’s a sad, pathetic, grudging desire fueled only by the knowledge you committed to doing this every day.
Find your drive.
What do you think? Still waiting for The Muse to whisper the dulcet tones of Idea in your ear? Let me know in the comments below!