December 08, 2014
John Mulder

When You Lose Your Muse

In the creative world, we search for inspiration in lots of places. Sometimes we find a single taste of it from a fleeting oasis, and it’s never to be sipped from again. And then sometimes, if one is lucky enough, we can find a single, beautiful well to go back to time and time again for a revitalizing drink of creative inspiration.

But what happens when the well goes dry? When the thing that has filled your bucket with some of your greatest creative ideas stops providing you with ah-ha moments?

In a word, it’s devastating. But you shouldn’t be surprised. Because as some pessimist once said – and it must be true if we still quote him today – “All good things must come to an end.”

The more untimely the muse’s departure, however, the greater the shock is to the system. Being suddenly musless creates panic, followed by self-doubt.

But the thing is, if you’ve been relying on one source to be your muse, how creative were you really being anyway? True creativity comes from a combination of stimuli. The more varied the better. So do yourself a favor and move on from your single muse existence.

That’s not to say that one’s lost muse can’t be revisited from time to time, but as long as you have a variety of sources from which to draw your inspiration, the less one lost muse will disrupt your creativity, and the better off you’re going to be throughout your career.

You’re human. Get used to loss.

You’re creative. Get used to dry spells.

You’re a professional. Get your head (and in this case your heart) back in the game.

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