The things I schedule on my calendar are classes with teachers, meetings with others, and appointments with doctors, dentists, etc. What I don’t schedule on my calendar are the things I really want to do that don’t include other people. Why do I assign more importance to my commitments to other people than commitments to myself?
When I promise myself that I will work on a project or learn some technique, most of the time I let myself get distracted by the routine of doing things with other people. My schedule is so crowded that there’s no time for the stuff that’s best done alone. My muse is feeling so neglected that she is waking me up in the wee hours with wonderful ideas to work on. If I can’t or won’t schedule regular time for her during the “regular” day, she’s going to prod me to my computer when no one else is available.
So, how can I schedule time with my muse? How can I persuade myself to honor my commitment to her (and myself)?
I have thought of setting up regular sessions for experimental work, design time, class time (teaching myself) in the same way that a university class is set up, e.g., MWF 8:30 – 10:30. One problem is that all those appointments and meetings with others take up considerable time every week and finding a regular time-frame for scheduling private work doesn't seem to happen. Another problem is that scheduling private work is a commitment “only” to myself; I won’t be graded on it; I won’t disappoint anyone else if I don’t show up. When others are involved, I feel that I must respect their time; when it’s just me, well, I can just do it another time. Of course, “another time” doesn't exist.
What if I begin to see my muse as a separate person? What if my muse has a name of her own? What if she is someone “else” I can make an appointment with? And, what if I realize that she is very disappointed when I fail to show up? OK, I’ll try to find a good time for the private work that won’t always be prey to the vicissitudes of an already too-full life. So, when is the best time?
My muse seems to really like early mornings. If I don’t get up (at a “reasonably” early hour and start working with the ideas crowding my mind, she starts waking me in the middle of the night. The good part of middle-of-the-night work is that the world is quiet, and I can concentrate. No distractions. I get a lot done. The bad part is that I really need a good night’s rest; I feel like a zombie when I've under slept. And, I don’t like the possibility of waking DH; he needs a good night’s rest, as well. So, for now, I’ll start getting up an hour earlier than my usual time. I know it’s only one hour, but it’s one hour more than I’m doing now.
As for the question, “Does she have a name?” I’ll have to wait to see what she reveals to me.