A good friend gave me some unsolicited advice this week:
"Pay more attention to your muse. No one likes a jealous muse."
Now this might have been said entirely in jest -- my friend has a delightfully wry sense of humor. Or it might have been relationship advice cloaked in a witty font from someone who has either been speaking directly with my creative muse or who is observing my artistic frustrations with an outsider's objectivity.
Isn't it true that most relationships suffer when one of the participants fails to show up regularly, or to pay adequate attention to the other? Relationships that matter aren't in name only and they really only work if all the participants show up regularly and contribute equally. Without similar committments of time and effort, the result is probably too one-sided to be a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship.
This showing-up-and-putting-the-work-in isn't just about human relationships, of course. It applies to all endeavors in which one desires to excel -- art, music, dance, writing, sports, education. It's difficult to think of a goal that can be accomplished by simply having a desire that remains unaccompanied by actual effort.
I know what it feels like to experience the green-eyed monster when I perceive that the other person devotes disproportionate attention elsewhere. By my "waiting for inspiration," and not regularly showing up and putting the work in -- have I really been doing that to my relationship with my art, even in the hyperbole of my friend's cautionary epigram?
Maybe it was all a joke. But then again, I wonder...