What Inspires Us To Write?

Many writers, poets, artists, musicians … talk about their ‘muse’.  But what does that actually mean? At this point in time I’m not talking about the band, although, that might come later.

‘The Muse of Poesie’
by Konstantin Makovsky (1839 -1915)

The freeonlinedictionary defines ‘muse’ as:

1. Greek Mythology: Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.

2. muse:

a. A guiding spirit.

b. A source of inspiration.

3. muse: A poet.


And wikipedia describes the ‘muse of literature’:

“Some authors invoke Muses when writing poetry, hymns, or epic history. The invocation typically occurs at or near the beginning, and calls for help or inspiration, or simply invites the Muse to sing through the author. Some prose authors also call on the aid of Muses, who are called as the true speaker for whom an author is merely a mouthpiece.”

So what calls forth your ‘muse’? Is it beautiful scenery? Shafts of sunlight over water? Does there have to be anything present in the vision – for example, do you love boats and can your image of beauty only be complete when one is there for you to gaze upon, or is the play of the sun’s rays across the water enough to inspire you?

Maybe your ‘muse’ is summoned by observing nature and, like Dickens, you’re inspiration is invoked through long walks in the countryside.

Perhaps you get turned on by technology – steam trains, cars, motorbikes …? Or architecture – train stations, cathedrals, castles …? Or then again, your idea of inspiration might come from the sea.

The list is endless. We’re all individuals and therefore have diverse ideas about what helps us to write, paint, sculpt ….

Whatever your ‘muse’ may it serve you well 😉

Here are a few musings (ha!) on what ‘muse’ is for other writers:

Mandy Boyle  Camsolivia  Alice E Vincent



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