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How to Work With Your Muse

By Deborah Castellano

“There is no room for grief in a house which serves the muse.” – Sappho

Step One: You Have One
For some, this seems to be the most difficult step. Maybe you’re not an artist/musician/writer so you think you don’t have a Muse. Wrong. Everyone does. Just because yours is different than the media portrayal of the Muse, doesn’t mean that she doesn’t exist. What media portrayal currently describes your struggles and your life right now? What, none? Exactly.

My mom’s muse couldn’t be bothered with airy-fairy art junk. She’s got snarled balls of yarn being delicately barfed up onto her desk by management, full of knotted and tangled tax codes. It’s up to my mom (and her muse) to wrangle that hot mess into order. My mom’s muse answers to the name Mrs. Emma Peel and dreams in numbers.

Don Draper is frequently seen as The Establishment in Mad Men. He’s full of hetero white guy privilege during a time where it was extra tasty and delicious to be a hetero white guy due to the constant buckets of money, ease of middle class life and all the under paid female labor there to help you at the office and at home. He’s a brilliant ad man, which even then was seen as being in league with the devil. But he’s excellent at it and his words and images evoke beauty and longing, which is super useful when you’re in advertising. His muse creates artistic advertising with him, which was like saying your muse likes to create meth in a lab, but muses do what muses do.

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