by Spike Marlowe
Today is brought to you by peppermint tea.
Lately, I’ve been running into the concept of modern artists using the concept of what could effectively be called a muse in their creative processes. For example, Steven Pressfield (author of numerous books, most notably The Legend of Bagger Vance recites the prayer to invoke the muse from The Odyssey before he gets to work, and Tom Petty believes his songs exist external to him and that he’s simply the conduit.
In the video below, Elizabeth Gilbert, who is best known for her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, discusses how accessing a muse, or what the Romans called “genius,” might actually be useful.
From the Ted Talk site: Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal, and surprisingly moving talk.
What do you all think?
Do you have a muse, or genius, or some sort of divine experience when you create your art? Do you believe that whether you do or not, “believing” as if you do is helpful? Or are you a stone-cold rationalist and believe you are the sole creator of your art? Or do you believe something else?
Spike Marlowe has held a number of odd jobs, including working in a wild west show, as a detective, as a Bigfoot researcher, as a writer for an Internet content farm, and as a busker. These days she’s a writer, blogger, and bizarro editor for Eraserhead Press, with a focus on the New Bizarro Author Series. Her first book, Placenta of Love, is now available at all the usual locations. You can stalk her online at her website, on Facebook and Twitter at @spikemarlowe.