The second in Kim’s series of three Monday Methods posts.
Monday Methods – Time
Once upon a time, when I first started to tell stories, I would write whenever the muse visited me. At first, we were madly in love, my muse and me, and we would spend hours in each other’s company. I looked forward to her visits, I anticipated her bolts of inspiration, and I couldn’t wait to see what adventures we’d have together. I wrote every day, for hours and hours, because she was wonderful.
Then, we started to grow bored with each other. I mean, my muse was still great and fun to hang out with and everything, but there were other things needing my attention, too. I was working full time. There were some really great movies coming out. I had television to watch and dishes to do. I told her that, while I still thought she was lovely, maybe we should just be friends.
She visited less and less. Why would she bother to come around? I hadn’t been there for her, so why would she be there for me?
I started to miss her. I wondered how she was, what she was doing. I wondered if maybe she’d found someone new who loved her more, and that stung. I started to pine for her, looking for her in alleyways and libraries, but she was no where to be found.
Then, early one morning, I decided I was sick of waiting around for her to come back. The sun was starting to rise, and I needed to write something. So I did.
I guess that piqued her interest. I was writing without her, and she was curious to see what I could do on my own; she popped by to say hi, real friendly-like, and we hung out for an hour. It was fun, but cautious. Could we repair the damage I’d done? Was this relationship worth it?
The next morning, very early, I started writing again. The words that came out were stilted and ugly, but they were words – they still communicated my ideas, even if they were without grace or beauty. My muse watched, interested, and gave me a few pointers to make it a little better.
On the third morning, once more very early, my muse sat at my side in the coffee shop and we wrote together, and it was as beautiful and pure as the first time we’d met. I wrote until my wrists ached and my fingers cramped. My heart sang. She was so lovely, gracious and generous. She was funny and crass and full of surprises. I thought that yes, this might work, and I could see in her smile that she was hoping the same.
I don’t wait for her anymore. That’s unfair, to put all the responsibility on my muse. I wake early and I write in the morning, and I am happy when she chooses to join me, but I don’t begrudge her if she doesn’t come, either. Maybe she likes to sleep in. I’d never again take her for granted, or pressure her to be more than she is. My muse provides the inspiration, but the work of writing is my responsibility, and I always make sure to show up to the job on time. She knows where to find me; I’m happy when she does.