I read the War of Art and it gave me the idea to say a little prayer to the Muses before I started my writing sessions. This idea really resonated with me, taking hold over a few days, so I sat down and wrote one. Now I say it before every writing session. I say it absolutely seriously and with respect to powers greater than myself.

Whatever you choose to call those powers makes no difference. Every artist who goes at it long enough feels it. Creativity comes through us, but it is not of us. They may call it the Great Spirit or God or angels or the creative force or chi. It doesn’t matter. This is just us projecting our tiny minds onto something more mysterious and infinitely more complex than us. Every pro writer knows that they aren’t really creating anything, they’re just taking dictation. All we have to do is get out of our own way long enough to let the creative force flow through and onto the page.

I’ve come to see the Muse as a real thing, formless, eternal, there for any artist who calls out to it with sincerity and humility, something that guides and gives endless gifts to those who can hear its whisper, gifts that come in the form of constant serendipity for your work. To hear her speak you need only quiet your mind and let go and then she goes to work in your life.

Feel free to take this poem as your own. I believe it brings joy to the Muse to hear it and she in turn brings creative energy to me. Also feel free to alter it. Some of it addresses personal struggles that I face, that you may not. At my worst, I tend to see the world filled with divine malevolence and I asked the Muse to free me from this horribly limiting view. I’m sure you have your own demons. Ask for help with them, in the most humble way that you can. Never demand. Remember, the creative force wants to help, but it’s not fan of arrogance or ignorance.

 

O’ Muse:

May I prove worthy of your inspiration and strength today,

As I write,

Let your song sustain me,

And my passion go with me,

Giving rise to insight and understanding,

Allow my spirit and body to work in harmony,

Let me see beyond myself,

And into the true nature of the stars,

Let my daily life dissolve,

And grant me freedom from distraction and fear,

Guide my every day,

So that I may always find the time to do my real work,

I ask only for the opportunity

Of open doors,

So I might walk through and serve your will,

I let go of tomorrow and her seductive whispers,

I think not of the fruits of my labor,

But of the labor alone as my reward,

Help me let go of outcomes and focus on now,

Let my mind drop away so my true awareness flows through,

Protect me as I wade into the seething creative fires,

So I am not consumed,

Above all let me perceive purpose in pain and adversity,

And see the will of the spirits at work,

Rather than the illusion of divine malevolence,

So that I might create something worthy of your favor,

And give meaning to my sacrifice.