A girlfriend once complained to me that I never wrote anything for or about her.
The reason why wasn't terribly complicated. She was uninhibited in her affection for me, normally honest, and we were almost always happy when we were together.
After we broke up, needless to say, I often wrote about her.
Recently, I realized that I have had a muse for well over a year, who has been the inspiration for a lot of my writing. As it happens, I’m also reading Sexus by Henry Miller, which is largely about his relationship with his muse. I've seen some notable parallels.
If you've ever wanted to be a muse, it seems fairly straightforward. Here are my tips.
Like Miller, I’m a heterosexual male. I've written these tips from that perspective. I suspect the spirit of these observations are relevant whatever might be the gender of you and your muse.
- Give enough of yourself to the artist that he knows there is more to give. Never give all of yourself.
- Depart and return, without ever really explaining why. Imply, however, that you return because you need something from him and his work. Imply also that you depart for reasons related to that part of yourself you won’t share with him.
- Be faithless. An unwillingness to be faithful gives the artist the permission he needs to turn the private drama into public art.
The artist will create in your name, I think, for the illusion of union created by the work, to seek understanding in the work on why there is no union, and in the vain hope you might notice the work and return.
Ah, crap. I've done it again.