A Good Day


A student wrote a lovely piece for an online class I’m teaching in which she described her perfect day of writing. It begins with rain. She loves to write when it’s raining, and when she hears that gentle, rhythmic tap, tap, tap on her bedroom window in the morning, she can feel her creative kettle warming. When she sits down at her desk, she “already has a feeling of success in her chest.”

And then the writing flows. She’s writing quickly and the ideas are coming and she’s lost track of time and has to remind herself to eat. She has a fast lunch, and then it’s back to the story and she’s lost in it again, following the characters where they want to go, surprised and excited and inspired, all the while the rain is tapping, tapping, tapping on her roof. She finishes as evening comes, and as she closes her laptop she wonders if The Muse will visit tomorrow.

I loved this story because of what it reveals about the creative process. The Muse does not care whether it’s raining out. The Muse will wake you up in the middle of a clear night with an idea. She just wants to play, to tell stories, to bring you an idea so interesting that it gets your full attention so that you and she can collaborate without the interference of the outside world and all its problems that need fixing and bills that need paying and chores that need finishing. The Muse doesn’t care about the outside world. It’s none of her business. Her relationship to your stories ends as soon as your words hit the page. She is the alive creative process, and your written stories don’t come to life again until someone reads them.

I don’t believe for one moment that my student has some unique, physiological relationship to the sound of rain. Instead, at some point in her life she decided that rain was good, that it gave her permission to be inside. Remember, she already “felt successful” before she had written a word. She’s feeling successful and yet she hasn’t succeeded at doing anything. And yet she had. She had succeeded in opening herself to the source of her creativity, succeeded in dropping whatever resistance she normally carried to hearing her Muse who is always ready to speak any time, any day, rain or shine.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual coaching and group workshops.