Inspiration can sometimes be elusive when you are a freelance writer. If you are between projects or working on a project that you are less than passionate about, it can be hard to find that inner fire that blazes when you are working on a passion project.
When you find yourself painted into this corner, don’t sit there and sulk. This is nothing but an opportunity to chase your muse. The inhabitants of ancient Greece believed that these nine spirits were the source of all inspiration and thus all accomplishments in the arts. If they can’t help you, nobody can! Here is a listing of their addresses in Seattle:
- Clio, Muse of History: If you are feeling a little stuck when writing that epic historical novel, visit The Museum of History and Industry, or MOHAI for short. Museums are, as the name implies, the perfect place to chase down Clio. In addition to being the home to enduring exhibits of Pacific Northwest history, the museum hosts many events to make history a collaborative learning experience. For creative inspiration, seek out the “Seattle in the movies” exhibit.
- Urania, Muse of Astronomy: Are you getting that sinking feeling that you will actually catch up to the future you are writing about in that science fiction novel before you actually finish it? Maybe it is time to seek out a little inspiration in the stars. The ancient astronomers that revered Urania would have given their togas to have a place to view the stars like that provided by the Willard Smith Planetarium at the Pacific Science Center. This venue offers both opportunities for observation and public shows that entertain as they enlighten.
- Melpomene, Muse of The Tragedy: While on the subject of stars, do the star-crossed lovers in your YA novel just refuse to leap off the page? Well, leap into the car and visit Melpomene at her favored home at the Seattle Repertory Theater. This theater has produced adaptations of the classic works of Sophocles himself, and you can also catch masterworks by many modern playwrights who favor a tragic bent. Upcoming engagements of “Bo-nita” and “A Great Wilderness” show the spirit of Melpomene.
- Thalia, Muse of The Comedy: Are laughs hard to come by in your biting satire? Maybe it is time to lighten up a little and seek out a few laughs with Thalia at the 5th Ave Theater. The healing power of laughter will be in full swing as the coming season includes many opportunities to see the lighter side of life. Upcoming engagements include “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Anything Goes” It may not be Aristophanes, but it is the next best thing that you are going to find on this side of the mountains.
- Terpsichore, Muse of the Dance: Is your prose dull and lifeless? Do you wish that it would dance on the page like it used to? Maybe you need to see the dancing expert. Terpsichore lives at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and it is home to some of the most beautiful performances in the West. In its 40th year, the PNB puts on amazing performances of such classics as “Swan Lake” and its signature holiday offering of “The Nutcracker.” A few hours spent with Terpsichore and you may find your prose tapping its feet as you hum along.
- Calliope, Muse of the Epic: Have you stalled on the 400th page of your generational epic? Do you need a breather from the trials and tribulations of your characters? Get a second wind by joining free-spirited Calliope at the Seattle Opera House for its upcoming presentation of Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.” This epic cycle of operas will punch a hole in your malaise and let Calliope loose!
- Erato, Muse of Love Poetry: Is your latest romance unconvincing? Can’t tell what she sees in him or why he puts up with her? Maybe you need to take a break from literary matchmaking and accept a little love into your own heart with Erato. The Seattle Poetry Slam is the perfect opportunity to meet with this finger-snapping, bohemian muse. As a succession of poets share the product of their hearts with you, take a breath and realize that love always comes when you least expect it.
- Polyhymnia, Muse of Divine Song: Sometimes you have written yourself into a corner, and writing yourself out of it might take intervention by a higher power. Seattle’s Sacred Music Foundation gives a home to the spirit of Polyhymnia with every performance. Eclectic performances of classical religious music might be just the lifeline you need to find to achieve Deux Ex Machina out of your intractable plot tangle.
- Euterpe, Muse of Music: Has your writing lost that musical lilt that it used to have? Are you desperately in search of your rhythm? One night with Euterpe may be just what the doctor ordered. The Muse of Music can be found watching the many musicals at the Seattle Musical Theater. Recent offerings have included a powerhouse performance of “Gypsy” and upcoming performances include “Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels” and the musical version of “Scrooge.” A little less typing and a little more listening may be all you need to give your writing that lyric quality.
The nine muses are alive and well in Seattle! Whichever of these beautiful ladies you choose to make a date with, remember that being a writer in Seattle is more than just cranking out pages in front of your computer screen.
The city is a maze of endless inspiration for artists of all forms, and if you are suffering from writer’s block or simple fatigue you need to take the opportunities that it presents to you. If your muse won’t come to you, it is up to you to go after your muse.