13 Metaphors for the Muse
Some think of the muse as a lightning bolt that strikes from the heavens.
The Greeks thought of the muse as a beautiful woman in a flowing gown, playing a harp, and singing stories in an artist’s ear.
Here are my 13 metaphors for the muse.
The muse is the tortoise in Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The muse appears only with constant effort, and doesn’t worry too much about the competition.
The muse is a scent of perfume in the air, a wisp of a fragrance. You have to pay close attention to savor it.
The muse is a kiln that heats clay into pottery.
The muse is a camera that allows you to notice shades of light, tiny moments of beauty that would otherwise go unnoticed.
The muse is an army tank, deflecting bullets of self-doubt and grenades launched by naysayers.
The muse is a shovel you use to stir up richer ground and soften the soil so that a seed can grow.
The muse is a dance partner who takes hold of your hand and leads.
The muse is a lover whispering to you to leave the practicalities of life behind and just have some fun.
The muse is a goat climbing a mountain, balancing on a precarious edge of rock, determined.
The muse is a postman who makes his rounds each day, putting missives of inspiration in your mailbox.
The muse is a mirror. When you look into it, you can only see yourself.
Grant Faulkner is the author of Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo and the co-host of the podcast Write-minded. His essays on creative writing have appeared in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer.