Words are great. They come in a variety of styles, sizes and shapes. They don’t need to be fed and clothed or taken for walks. They won’t beg for food at your table and they never pee on the carpet. They have other ways of nagging at you, digging into your soul and making you lose sleep and even your sanity along with it. Words really are mightier than the sword. Just ask any writer staring at a blank sheet of paper or word processor screen.
Do you have a muse? I don’t. What I do seem to have is a being that takes over my body and my mind and lets me watch while she/ he creates wonderful things with words. I’m not suffering a split personality or psychic interbody takeover, or whatever. It just seems at times that I am not the one doing the writing at all. I don’t know where it comes from but I can see my fingers busily tapping away at the keyboard. I don’t think that is what a muse is.
To me a muse is an inspiration that you hope you can continue to rely on for as long as you pull words out of the air and put them neatly (or messily) in some form of print.
If I have a muse it is the words themselves. I have long had a love affair with words. I could sleep with them, roll in them and live my life learning all of them by name. My favourite words are the kind that sound like their meaning or those old English type words like bewitching, beguile and serendipity. On a college exam I used the word persnickity as a word that sounded like what it meant. It was not accepted, not that I failed but she insisted persnickity was not a word. I still don’t know. Some dictionaries have it and some don’t.
But, to me any word that more than half a dozen people know about, is a word. Its up to us to figure it out.