I am thinking about the muse idea again. What is the difference between a muse and someone who just influences us? Is the difference some magical substance?
My writer friend Antony Mason, agrees that a muse correlates to 'unobtainable desires of one kind of another' but that this is why "many people keep quiet about them (and others can only speculate). Influences are a different thing, of course -- but all are important in goading the (ever-reluctant) artist into productivity." Perhaps it is this goading which is the important element. Why do artists have to ascribe the desire to create to an outside force?
I have known for a long time that my desire to write, which came from a very early age, was a way of translating emotions I found too difficult to deal with in the real world. Somehow, by removing these feelings into poetry, plays, music and lyrics makes them more bearable. But where does the reluctance to work come from? I think it is the fear of facing the feelings in order to translate them... this can be a painful process and one we fear as much as we desire.