Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dear Muse:

By Terri Main

Dear Muse:

I regret to inform you that I am terminating your employment with my subconscious effective immediately. I'm sure you already know my reasons. However, I will remind you of them in case you are as oblivious as I sometimes suspect you are.

First is your inconsistent work ethic. I admit that, when you work, you do a bang up job. However, (and we both know this is true) you only work when you feel the spirit move you. And it doesn't move you often. I am trying to put out three novels and a half dozen short stories a year. That doesn't include the day to day writing. How can I do that, if you are constantly taking vacation days. Most of the time I sit down to write, and you are nowhere in sight. I wait for you, but you don't come. So, I can't get any work done. My productivity is severely impaired by your lackadaisical attitude toward this enterprise.

Secondly, you continually lead me down interesting, but generally unproductive, paths. Remember, that month you pushed me to write a story about a family of walruses who suddenly become royalty in a community of vampires. C'mon now. Did you really think that one would sell?

Finally, you have seemed to be a bit lacking in energy recently. You aren't giving me anything new. You keep wanting me to follow the leader, write what everyone else is writing, not step outside the box. You are, if you excuse the pun, just not very amusing anymore.

Therefore, I have to let you go. I wish you all the best. We have had some great times together, but I need someone to rely upon. And that is not you.

Your former employer

Dear Terri,

I was surprised, but generally relieved, to receive your letter terminating my employment with your subconscious. I, too, have had some enjoyable times, but lately the working conditions have not been the best.

You say I am inconsistent, but what about you. You only sit down to write when you have some time. You don't work on any regular schedule. Then you expect me to just jump up and be inspiring on a moments notice. It don't work that way. 

By the way, why can't you just work until I get there. I'm a few thousand years old. It takes me a while to get where I'm going. Just start typing, and I'll arrive.

Then, after we work together and have some fun, you go off and do something else. I don't see you for another six months. Then you want me to just pick up where we left off. I'm not even sure I remember where we left off.

You remember, I told you I was a slow starter. Usually, I have to see a bit where your thought processes are going before I jump in. We are in this together, you know. I may be your inspiration, but you are the scribe, you have to do the heavy lifting once I give you the ideas.

Okay, I admit I can be a bit flaky at times. I do love to give you ideas right as you are falling asleep at night. And I guess it is a bit annoying when I give you a great idea in the middle of a meeting. But a girl has to have some fun.  I told you to keep a pen and pad around to jot down those ideas. But do you? Noooooo!!!!

I also have one other complaint. You say I lack energy. I'm a growin' girl, you know. I need to be fed. Your meal plan started to get kind of stale. We used to feast on a variety of books, stories, articles. Now, you keep reading the same old stuff. Give me something new. Some avant guarde poetry. An 18th Century novelist, a bit of science fiction, mystery, romance. I know you are not a big fan of horror, but I love to taste new and different things.

So, while I wish we could have made things work out, I am relieved to be moving on. Of course, if you ever want to make some adjustments in the working conditions, give me a call. Maybe, we could work something out.

Your Former Muse.


Unknown said...

This is adorable. I'm jealous at how clever it is. But I'm glad I was sleeping. So I guess we're even.

Christine London said...

Dear (Terri's former) muse,
Please come and visit me. I loooovvee muses of all shapes and variety. Perhaps you'd fancy cheering up your new employer as she has been a bit down in the dumps as of late and needs a good swift kick in the behind. I allow pithy muses. In fact I love them as they get me to sit down to that vacant glowing screen every day, as I should. After all, this is a profession and as such requires hours with B.I.S (butt in seat) to accomplish the unaccomplishable--beautiful passages, cliff hanging susupense, uplifting endings, inspirational actions on the part of our characters, educational content woven expertly into entertaining prose. As one who has been bestowed with the gift of words, I must honour that gift and SHOW UP!!
Thank you for listening to this muse pitch. I hope you accept my offer of eternal employment as I shall be there seated in front of the keyboard whether or not you show up...courting other wonderful muses by keeping finger busy flying across these keys.

Christine London

Kat Heckenbach said...

This is great! It inspires me to have a nice heart-to-heart with my muse. She seems to be giving me really great beginnings, then leaves me hanging as to where the story needs to go.

Very cool, Terri :).

Dianna said...


Amazingly well written, and so true... we complain about our muses all the time but I think 'your former muse' definitely has a point. We need to do everything in our power to foster creativity. Part of that is applying butt to chair on a regular basis, and part of that is going out and living life, seeing new things.

Thanks for the refreshing read :)

Mary Andrews said...

Wonderful read. Good luck on finding a new Muse. I suggest trying a Pavlovian one. They flourish on schedules and can be easily summoned by music or visual stimuli. They do seem to prefer more disciplined artists than I tend to be, but then I'm not dead yet so it could still happen.

Thank you for sharing this transaction. I enjoyed your professionism. Perhaps you could let us know if you two ever come to terms in the future.

Now I MUST go tweet this.
TTFN--Mary Andrews
(author of The Fireborn Chronicles series)

Terri main said...

This was so much fun to write. I was up and feeling a bit whimsical. I posted it to an email list for Muse Writers, and Lea thought I should post it here.

It isn't much, but I had fun writing it.

Now, I have to eat something and then start preparing a nice comfy place for my muse. I'm missing her already and willing to make a few compromises.

Paul and Karen said...

Clever! Lol! :)

J.Q. Rose said...

You had me at writing the clever letter of dismissal, but truly hooked when the muse replied in kind. This piece is entertaining, inspiring, and I gotta say it--aMUSing...Great fun. Thanks.

jq rose

Joyce Anthony said...

Teri, this was wonderful!!!!

Anonymous said...

This was fun to read. Thanks for sharing it Terri!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri,
You're fortunate to be on speaking terms with your muse becuse you know how tempermental they can be. So hang in there--she'll be back. As a matter of fact, I think she already is.

aka Stories A la Mode

Connie Arnold said...

This is great, Terri! Very entertaining while sharing some important reminders about writing. Quite clever!

Brenna said...

This gave me a smile to start my day! Thanks, Terri.

Teresa Slack said...

Boy, did my muse and I need this. We have been having the same love/hate relationship for too long. Thanks for posting. You rock.

Anonymous said...

So true! I suppose I have a pretty good relationship with my muse, come to think of it - I respect her and put in the time, and she puts up with my somewhat crazy writing schedule, (netbook on the city bus and all,) and has given me some truly incredible inspirations!

Supporting 42 Local M. U. S. E (Muse's Union and Spark Employees - representing creative muses for over 700 years.)