From Muse to Movement

greyscale photography of man playing guitar

In the sultry embrace of slumber’s remnants, I find myself garbed in the familiar armor of the unassuming writer: a once vibrant t-shirt paired with ripped leggings or jeans or an old summer dress, all now graced with the battle scars of time. This sartorial ensemble, an ode to the intimacy of my writing sanctuary, has borne witness to countless scribblings birthed from the depths of my imagination. 

Yet, the perception of the writer as a perpetual pajama-clad hermit, ensconced in a cozy fortress of solitude, is but a fanciful illusion that shrouds the true essence of my craft. Far from the confines of the keyboard, I venture forth, my heart attuned to the world’s whispers. Through these ephemeral moments, these fleeting encounters with the sublime, my writer’s palette is replenished and the creative wellspring is nourished.

Not unlike those whose labor breathes life into the cogs of the nine-to-five machine, I’m too bound to the rhythmic cadence of morning rituals and daily exertions. For many years, just as still do many of my fellow writers, I’d juggle the myriad demands of regular occupations, my prose and poetry carved from stolen moments amidst the ebb and flow of life’s tidal waves. Much of what I work with today has its foundations in these same humble, often overlooked and under-appreciated beginnings.

In this arena of daily triumphs and tribulations, I find myself most fascinated with the mundane and the extraordinary, my eyes ever watchful and my ever curious. This occupation is as diverse and multifaceted as the stories I have to tell, defying the one-dimensional caricature of the pajama-clad wordsmith. The solemn duty of a writer is to teach as well as to learn, to engage and uplift, and I wear this mantle with conviction.

It’s taken considerable blood, sweat, and tears to remind myself that I’m much more than a mere silhouette hunched over a keyboard, my soul tethered to the ethereal realm of cyberspace. My craft demands a diversity of endeavors, as a thriving writing enterprise is often nothing more than a pipe dream. I must always have opportunities on the back burner, forever simmering to allow my essays and imaginative scribblings to be nurtured and to blossom.

For too long, I tried to cast aside the veil of romantic idealism and embrace the unyielding pragmatism of the business-minded scribe. But, to write for my sustenance, with the gilded promise of monetary reward, ended up leaving my words feeling hollow. I was no longer free to write what I saw, but rather what I was told others thought they wanted to read.

I long surmised that it was an inexorable truth that our literary dreams must, at times, be tethered to the earthbound realities of life. But, no, the true character of a writer is captured in the words that she writes without regret, those things that must be said. Even if I must pursue other side hustles to make ends meet, I’ll make due. My writing has taken on a divine, spiritual grandiosity that can’t be diminished by the capitalistic or materialistic; it must rise above mere characters on a page and become entwined with the thoughts and feelings of you as my reader.

The words that ultimately grace your eager eyes are often birthed from fleeting moments of inspiration, as I traverse the byways of my daily sojourns. The glowing screens of my humble smartphone and laptop computer are my ever-present companions, serving as conduits for unbridled creativity. My prose has come so far from the ink-stained echoes of the hurried scribbles and whimsical doodles adorning the pages of spiral-bound notebooks and the margins of scrap paper. 

While my craft only recently has transitioned almost exclusively to the digital realm, it can never lose the spirit of spontaneity and wild youth if I so will it. I’ve managed to keep the ravenous wolves of reality at bay as my dreams take flight, and I’ll trust in the words as long as I live, because they haven’t failed me yet.

It’s entirely possible that I’ll toil endlessly towards the elusive nirvana of a writing career unencumbered by the shackles of quotidian responsibilities. Indeed for many bards and scribes, the act of writing serves as a passionate side hustle to nourish the soul while stoking the flames of ambition. For me, the writing is all I care about any longer; it’s all that drives me to continue a daily cycle of pondering, musing, and reflecting. I’m at a point in my life where I can be perfectly content to be a mere phantom in the moment, a wraith-like entity flitting about the digital domain, here to remind those willing to listen that the art is all that matters, not the reward.

Perhaps I shall never be as fortunate those among us who have forged kingdoms from the fertile soil of the blogosphere, their musings and meanderings the very lifeblood of their daily bread. But, I’m content to sit back and watch, as I realize that by giving into capitalistic dreams,  I’d just be denying the best parts of myself, indulging in the frivolity of social media while weaving tales of inconsequence. I’ve never been any good at popularity contests; my writing is what it is, and I will not alter it for likes, views, comments, shares, or any other social currency that has no intrinsic value beyond nebulous social proof.

My written voice forms the bridge connecting me to the world beyond my writing desk. We’re all pilgrims on the grand journey of life, our steps guided by the same passions and desires that drive the hearts of all humanity. I write to remind you, my dear readers, that you are as much a part of the vibrant canvas of existence as any other denizen of this mortal coil.

I find relief in the sanctity of my chosen vocation, the quiet surrender to the call of the muse. Don’t let the humble attire of the writer deceive you, for beneath the veneer of these faded pajamas  beats the heart of a dreamer, a seeker, and a chronicler of the human experience. Until my dying breath, I will keep immortalizing the ephemeral and giving voice to the voiceless.

Related: The Importance of a Muse to a Writer | Madness to My Method | Why the Words Within Must Be Unleashed

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

3 thoughts on “From Muse to Movement

  1. I am going to forget all the words I need to look up. Maybe the comment will remind me. It is a better step than just thinking, “I should write that down.” That mental note is the kind I never again find.

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