by Art Editor, Carl Scharwath
Muse is defined (in Greek and Roman mythology) as the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over the arts (and sciences.) In literary history, Ezra Pound reins supreme. As a poet he started the new poetry movements of Imagism and Vorticism. As a muse he helped to launch the careers of William Carlos Williams, T.S. Elliot, Hemingway and James Joyce. He was the editor for the T.S. Elliot masterpiece “The Wasteland” as well.
As an artist, I feel we all need someone to support us. Art can be a lonely task and having some support and recognition of all our hard work inspires us even more. Of course, your God is your number one place for help and love, however I don’t know when God could ever edit or give you feedback on your work, although I wish he could. Therefore, an engaged Muse is so very important.
If you have a Muse, then you are very lucky indeed, but if you do not there are many places to seek. Your family or friends are hopefully supportive, but if they are not artists themselves, your work and their interest in it might get lost to the busy life they lead. The best place to find your Muse is in another artist.
How do you go about finding or being a Muse? One word: !!FACEBOOK!!. I know some of you do not use Facebook and yes, the selfies, cat videos and food pictures can be fun, but this social media platform reins king for networking. I could not believe how many artists, writers and photographers there are in the world and discovering them on social media is a true blessing.
All you need to do is reach out, read their work, compliment them and share your writing. Begin to build your friend base with writers and artists. I would also look for publications and editors as well. The support you will discover is real and when you find a few loyal friends, the ideas, successes and failures can be shared.
Join just one large writer group on Facebook. Some have over 5000 members and they are a treasure trove for new connections. (You can join more if you like, however every time there is a posting you could be notified.) A great group I found is “Calls for Submissions,” which posts daily Literary Journals seeking out your work.
The best way for you to meet people locally is to leave your comfort zone and read your work at an open mic event. You can also join a local writer’s group or start your own. Contact your local high school and if you are comfortable you can offer to teach a writing class. I have done all of the above examples and have had great results.
One idea which worked the best for me was to reach out to other poets and offer to do a collaboration. The new friend wrote a poem complimenting my photography and then I would do the work to submit for publication. I have worked with over 10 poets, mostly female and from other countries (as I prefer the dynamics of a feminine view with an international perspective.)
Everyone I submitted was published and 5 of the poets had their first publication working with me. Collaborations are a great way to be a muse to each other and help a new poet to be published.
As the Art Editor for Minute Magazine, I am always happy to see your work. If you need any help, please reach out to me on Facebook and I will be most happy to be of assistance. You are never alone in your art; there is always someone who would like to help you on your journey and of course I hope you find your Muse or become one. Thank you.