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?

Published by

Bridget Macklin

I am an artist working in the field of ceramics creating fragile porcelain pieces which are inspired by the environment or by peoples relationships with the environment and with each other and which often incorporate finds to support their narrative.

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