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To My Muse: 10 Reasons Why I Love You

I don’t call you that, of course, but you know me, I like to find the words that’ll help people get my meaning :-)

To me you’re my unconscious mind, my writing self (except I don’t call you that either, but I know that’s what you do).

“Beautiful unconscious mind” is what I call you when I need to ask for help.

“You”, when it’s just me and you.

I try to say thank you, always, for the things that you do.

And I don’t want to share all our deepest secrets, but maybe I could tell of some of the things that make my eyes fill with gratitude, the reasons why I love you.

I thought I’d try and make it ten, because you do know I like to play with numbers.

I mean, I know that you like to play with numbers, and I figured we might get this written if I gave you something to work on.

And that would be one of them. I love the way I can ask you, beautiful unconscious mind, for five ways, or 9 reasons, or 27 secrets and you’ll run off and look for them.

Come back with jewels. Nudge me and say: ‘look, look, look at this list! Isn’t it just perfect - do you like this one?  It really made me laugh, go on, you need to include that one.’

And I have to smile at your childish enthusiasm.

I love the way you wake me in the night, whispering ‘I’ve got an idea’. And I thank you for it, and ask you to keep it till morning.

I even love the way you nudge me again 5 minutes later. Demanding that the words get written now, because they’re too good to wait for morning. And they are, and, mainly, I don’t mind :-)

I love the way you respond when I thank you for a word, a phrase, a beautiful idea.

You’re like a cat being stroked, arching your back, rubbing your head against my hand, purring in delight at my thanks and your own brilliance.

And I love the way you stalk off, cat like, when I ask you to come up with some clever words.

Proud, haughty, independent, refusing to perform on demand.

I love the way you look at me when I’m trying too hard with my words. Trying to sound poetic or to convey too much emotion.

You don’t say anything, just look, and arch an eyebrow.

It’s enough, my loving critic. The point is made.

I love it when you’re being tough. Enough of the flannel. Demanding it’s told as it is.

Short fiery sentences. One line pointed paragraphs.

And I love it when you want to write a line of a poem. Not for anyone else to read, just me and you, lines that flow from the heart, that show me words I didn’t know I had, and spill over feelings I didn’t know I could write.

I love the way you respond, like me, to the power and the beauty of wild places.

Will gift me the power to provide the frame, to choose the words, to capture my response and pass it on.

I love that we can walk together. I always see more when you walk with me.

I love that you are my most nonsensical friend, most thoughtful philospher, the craziest dreamer, most ridiculous playmate.

All of these, none of them, and more.

Oh I could go on, and if I asked you for more, perhaps you’d give me a list:-)

Or perhaps you’d give me one of those looks and say: Enough, already.


This was my contribution to a Group Writing Project on the theme of My Love Affair With Writing.

I wasn’t sure what or how (or even whether) to write my entry, but I’ve taken my inspiration from those of you who have already written your contributions and shared so much, so openly and so generously, about what it is you love about writing. Thank you.

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  1. Brad Shorr says:

    Joanna, glad you decided to participate, because your post really touched me. It’s hard to articulate what goes inside the mind of a writer, but you’ve done a wonderful job.

  2. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Thanks Brad.

    Sometimes it’s good to write the stuff that matters, even if it makes us a feel a little more vulnerable. Well, that’s precisely why it matters I guess :-)


  3. Alina Popescu
    Twitter: alina_popescu

    Joanna, it’s so great that you took part in this. As I told you, this project of yours is simply irresistible :) And your post is so touching! I’m really glad you shared it.

  4. CatherineL says:

    Hi Joanna - this is excellent. And I’m glad someone else has a subconscious that talks to them and makes them get up and write too.

    I feel a bit of a twit though as I assumed we had to submit these entries on Friday. Not that I have any idea how I’ll pull this off on a business blog.

  5. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @ Alina thank you :-) There is something about this project that has brought out some wonderful pieces of writing. I feel very moved and humbled by the words that you’ve all shared. So you’re right, I couldn’t resist joining you :-)

    @ Catherine, oh yes, even when I try and cajole her to wait till the morning there’s just no putting it off sometimes :-)

    I’m hoping you will submit your entry *before* Friday!

    Of course you can pull it off. You could make it about writing and business if you want, or how writing inspires your business, or business your writing, or just make it an opportunity to learn more about you…

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with anyway. (And if you’re late, I’ll let you off, seeing as it’s you, but I’m not going to give an extension to everyone!)


  6. deb says:

    I know what you mean. I wasn’t going to participate at first but one night my entry just started forming in my head. I’ve been working on it for over a week now and think I finally have it complete. I plan on posting it Thursday (nothing like waiting till the last minute.) I’ve gone back and forth even as I was writing it as to whether I should post it.

    I really enjoyed yours. I’m glad you decided to share it with us.

  7. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Hi Deb, it’s lovely when the words just ask to be written isn’t it? Then it’s just a question of getting out of our own way :-)

    My muse likes it best when I get out of the way!

    I hope you do take part, but no worries if it doesn’t work out - the words will come out some time later, when you’re good and ready :-)


  8. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim


    This is beautifully written proving that those who teach can also write! This is a post that delighted all of my senses and so clearly articulated the heart and soul of a writer. Thank you running the writing project and for contributing. Good on you!


  9. amypalko says:

    Oh, Joanna, what a beautiful contribution to the project! Your love of language, and your passion for writing, shine through your words, and I can’t help but be dazzled by them. Just beautiful!

  10. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Karen, thank you. I probably think of myself more of a teacher than a writer - well, actually I don’t think of myself as a writer at all, but I do love to write, and I do love my beautiful unconscious mind who sends me such a mixture of silly, beautiful and perfect words :-)

    I have really enjoyed running this project. When you get to read all the contributions you’ll see what I mean.

    Amy, thanks :-) I had to coach myself through resistance to taking part (!) but I’m glad I did. It’s good to share something deeper of ourselves some times.


  11. [...] Happily, I think I’m there now.  How do I know?  Well, my unconscious mind is back waking me up in the middle of the night with brilliant ideas for posts she’d like to write (thank you, dear sweet muse). [...]

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