Inspiration, a divine spark, stimulus--we all appreciate when that type of enlightenment strikes.
The ancients attributed these energies to the Muses, daughters of Zeus, the god who threw lightning bolts of power, and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The Muses were believed to inspire all artists, but especially those who worked with words: poets, musicians, playwrights, and philosophers.
More importantly, written words were not subjected to the vagaries of memory. Once recorded, they were always available for anyone who could read. Leaving a written record meant knowledge wasn't as easily lost or changed, allowing the next generation to build on the recorded memories of their fore-bearers. Is that not an inspiration in itself?
Before the nineteenth century, written words were not universally taught to the general populace, which made writing a special gift, often a sacred act. Since its inception, writing remained the province of religious brethren. Many scribes could not read, only copy letters. Luckily, during the Dark Ages, they copied many of the Greek's writings, so even today we have some of the Greek stories, poems, plays, and even the musings of their philosophers.
The ability to read and write is still not universal, but thankfully, far more widespread today. Today writing is often taken for granted. We have an overabundance of written words, some sacred, some profane, some mundane or inane, and many just entertain. We have so many words in so many places that we often ignore all of them. Those who choose to write words for entertainment, however, often wish they had closer contact with one of the ancient Muses to find their best audience.
Where are the muses found? Right inside our heads. Ideas form from mixtures of memory, imagination, and reactions to the world around us, all combined in thought. Sometimes a visit from the Greek god Morpheous helps, too.
Outside stimuli include interactions with other people, the excitement of new environments or experiences, or conversely meditating in old and familiar places -- and sometimes the act of moving your body through space and time (otherwise known as exercise) helps us find our muse.
As a writer I know the Muses exist. Sometimes they take their time to pull ideas together inside my mind, probably because Terpsichore, the muse of dance, isn't boogieing over the right sequence of neurons. When that happens, I talk a long walk.
In CREWKIN, releasing this February, the heroine Renna must find her own muse, a way of living with herself on the sometimes small, sometimes great stage of life. I hope you will enjoy where my muse led me in this story.
Thanks, Lea, for accepting Crewkin to MuseItUp Publishing.