The Muse & Carol Have a Fight

by Carol Hess on October 11, 2012

Why?  Why does the Muse always choose the days I know exactly what I want to write about to tap me on the shoulder and say, “I don’t think so, Carol.  Today you’re going to write what I want you to write.”

I mean I’m all for cooperating with the Muse.  There’s all hell to pay if you don’t.  Trust me.  This is the voice of experience talking.  The Muse is one fickle broad.  (I’m a woman, so I’m allowed to use the “b” word, okay?)

But why on earth can’t she be super clear and direct about what she wants me to write about on the bad days?  You know — those days when I’m staring at the empty computer screen, my deadline looming over my head like the piano hurtling its way toward Wily Fox?  It’s just not fair.  (No, Dad, you did not tell me life was fair, but I can keep hoping, can’t I?)

So the Muse is tapping me on the shoulder – rather insistently I might add – to talk about what I’ve discovered about voice.  In fact, as a writer and writing coach, I dare say I already know a lot about voice.  (I know I’m going to be sorry I said that.)  But today has been a day of looking at voice in a slightly different way.

Okay, Muse, hold your horses.  I’m getting to the point(s).

1.  Give voice to your truth – we’re all being asked to do it these days.  It’s crucial because our voices are going to help tip that teeter totter we call Planet Earth to the side of love instead of fear.  It’s never been more important than right now to share your truth.

It’s not that your truth is so much different from my truth or the guy down the street’s truth or your great Aunt Molly’s truth.  It probably isn’t.  But we need your truth.  Every truth that gets out there carries a certain weight, and we need the weight of your truth.  Do you really want it on your conscience that you could have tipped the teeter totter in the right direction, but you chose to remain silent instead?  I sure as heck wouldn’t want that on my conscience.  I’m just saying . . .

2.  Authentic voice – everyone struggles and struggles and struggles with this.  Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.  Let’s just say it’s a common problem.   But, Folks, you’re making it much, much harder than it needs to be.  Really.

Stop being so self-conscious.  Just tell us what you have to say the way you say it to your best friend at 3 in the morning after you’ve cracked open another bottle of wine.  (That’s how I broke through my French block.  I got drunk one night and discovered I could indeed speak French when I stopped caring what I sounded like.)

Stop worrying about whether you’re being wise, funny, knowledgeable, deep, cute, or spiritual.  And for heaven’s sake stop worrying about being grammatically correct.  Just worry about being you.  Period.

3.  I want you to do something for me and for your voice.  You know all those people in your past who told you to STOP – to stop nagging, stop talking so loud, stop exaggerating, stop being so strident, stop yelling, stop interrupting, stop talking so much?  Well, I want you to realize they were right.

You were indeed nagging, talking loudly, exaggerating, being strident, yelling, interrupting, and/or talking alot.  You know why?  Because they weren’t listening to you, and you knew it.  Because they weren’t valuing your truth, and you knew it.  Because they didn’t appreciate your voice, and you knew it.  You felt unheard because you were unheard.

But guess what?  The world is ready for what you’ve got to say now.  We’re listening.  We value your truth.  We appreciate your voice.  Please speak.  You will be heard.

Hmm.  All this talk of voice, but it does appear that one usually rather loud voice has fallen silent.  The Muse is either pleased or pissed off, but either way I guess she won our fight.  She got me to write about voice.

Now what are you going to write about?  What are you going to talk about?  What do we need to hear?

by Carol Hess


Categories Personal Empowerment, The Art of Star Polishing

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Kristine October 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Thanks Carol, that’s just what I needed to hear today. I found you through Christine Kloser and Pebbles in the Pond. We shall keep on keeping on!


avatar Carol Hess October 12, 2012 at 5:25 am

Welcome to the Star Polisher community, Kristine. I’m glad the post was helpful and even gladder you found me. :)


avatar Sarah | Holistic Hot Sauce October 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm

As usual, you (and Your Muse) are right on. This message can never be said enough, or in too many ways. The way I (and you) say it matters – what doesn’t matter is how many other people (we think) have already said it. They haven’t.
That’s because I’m the only one that can say in my unique way.

So glad you could cooperate with your Muse today and tell me this right when I needed to hear it!


avatar Carol Hess October 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

That’s right, Sarah. That sound you hear? It’s the ears flapping out there, waiting to hear what you have to say in exactly the way you say it. (Weird noise, isn’t it? :))


avatar Mary Dirksen October 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Carol, I love the way you lay it all out there. You are so direct and to the point, giving us all permission to just spit it out. Love that!

Thank you!


avatar Carol Hess October 13, 2012 at 10:41 am

Absolutely — spit it out, Mary! :)


avatar Jennifer Boykin October 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Yep. She is definitely a trickster, that Muse.


avatar Carol Hess October 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

So it’s not just me, Jennifer? Phew!


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