A little bit of a Muse

I picked up The Muse by Jessica Burton the other day.  I bought it because it was in the Sunday Times best sellers list and I needed to read something by somebody new.  It is different to many books that I have read in the past and I am enjoying it greatly.  What I had not expected was that it might resonate with my own thoughts quite so much.

I am left with little choice this week but to quote from it:

When I began receiving public acknowledgement for a private act, something was essentially lost.  My writing became an axis upon which all my identity and happiness hinged.  It was now outward looking, a self-conscious performance.  I was asked to repeat the pleasure again and again, until the facsimile of my act became the act itself.

I know exactly how this character is feeling!  A friend spotted it in me a couple of weeks back and asked what I was planning to do about it.  The truth is that I have no idea.


Whilst it is hugely flattering that people like my work, I am easily bored and I fear it will soon be time to move on.

I am hugely excited and flattered that people like my current work but success brings some weird emotions.  I want to make for myself!  I miss the devil-may-care attitude and I feel cramped by the prescriptiveness of what I am making.  I broke my New Year’s resolution to include something experimental in each firing within about 3 weeks because I was working so hard to satisfy the demand for my work.


I am dreadfully aware of how ungrateful this sounds and I am sorry for that but I confess to being scared at the moment that this is who I am.  I have come up with an idea that people seem to like and now I am stuck on a production line.

To miss-quote Jessica Burton,

I have forgotten the genesis of my impulse; unbothered, pure creation, existing outside the parameters of success and failure.

I appreciate that this must seem rather conceited but I am easily bored and I have a feeling that it might be almost time to beat a retreat and start again before I forget why I make things.   Who am I?

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