It is I, Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV, author extraordinaire of the bestseller science fiction and fantasy novel, ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooth’, lightsome spirit, and all-round good egg. I come to you today all aflutter with excitement, and with a spring in my delicate heels. Mumsie and I have come into money. Well, Mumsie has, but as she so playfully puts it: “One can’t leave the fruits of one’s fanny out of the treat, even if he is a disappointing plonker, with no charm and less humour.”
And guess what the treat is…? We are going away on holiday to the sun. To the Greek isles in general and to Mykonos in particular. To the place of dreams, to the wine-dark sea and the retsina. Sadly this visit, which will no doubt refresh my creativity in the home of Calliope herself, is not to occur for some months yet. But even now I am feeling ever more uplifted towards my Muse.
Mumsie says she intends to spend two weeks ‘on the lash’ (whatever vulgarisms that portends) whilst I ‘sort my freaking head out’. As if my beauteous little noddle was in need of ‘sorting’. Be that as it may, one is so excited that one’s breath comes in short pants and one finds oneself almost as excited as an eight-year-old on tuck-box day…
But such delights cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the programme of authorly improvement upon which we have set our feet. En avant ο φίλος μου.
Lesson 24: The Write way to court your Muse
It has been suggested to one that writer’s block is a condition that exists only in the mind of the writer. One would counter that claim with the irrefutable fact that one’s writing emanates from one’s mind. Ergo writer’s block is as real as one’s fingers or toeses. And if it is a real condition of the true literary giant, which it is, it behoves one to search for the remedy which must, as surely as the sun rises, be somewhere in the shining ionosphere
Researching the words the literary glitterati, one hears of stratagems varying from long walks in the countryside, to excessive sexual activity, to the consumption of hallucinogenic substances, to just giving up and going to bed.
In one’s own small experience of the stubbornness of the Muse of literature, one has found that capricious semi-deity can best be summoned by providing an atmosphere conducive to the comfort and delight of a creature accustomed to the finest things this world – and any other – has to offer.
Summon Calliope with soft music. With the scent of burning incense. With the delicate petals of rosebuds. With the richest of fabrics and the softest of cushions. Lay aside the vulgarity of the pad electronic in favour of the smoothest of papers, the blackest of inks and the most beautiful of fountain pens. Gaze upon only the fairest of nature’s creations. Bring yourself into that meditational state advocated by the most practiced of yogis. Do all this and you shall see the return of your faithless mistress to her perch at your shoulder. You shall once again smell the sweetness of her breath, and her inspiration shall once again enter your writing like a soft breath of breeze from the summer sea.
Above all do not despair my student. Apply yourself with humility and love and your Muse will love you once more.
Until next καλή τύχη. And ecrit bon.