# 37 - Schizophrenic Muse

My muse is schizophrenic.

I can't seem to make myself settle down, focus, and work toward a single goal until it's done. I do have some success from time to time, but at others, I can barely focus from day to day, let alone the weeks or months at a time that it takes to complete a big project.

Lately, my muse has been speaking in the language of paint. I went to an art auction on board the cruise a few weeks ago and bought a few really beautiful pieces of art. It was the first time I've bought anything like that, despite the fact that I've always wanted to.

After that, my husband kept trying to tell me that I can paint things just as good as those things at the auction. We got into a big argument over it and I suddenly realized - I can paint that good. I can't paint exactly like Monet or Kincaid, but I can paint in my own way, and the paintings I've done in the past - some of them, anyway - are nice.

So, I went and bought a bunch of new art supplies and started painting again and I'm so excited! Just by examining the art at the show and giving it a lot of thought, I've come up with some things that have really improved my art, so as soon as I picked up a paintbrush last week, my painting was immediately better.

And I don't know if it could be a coincidence, but I just heard the other day about an art contest being held right here in my town, and I'm thinking seriously about entering it.

There have been other times when I've been really excited about music and I've played the piano a lot, bought new sheet music, etc. I pulled my old clarinet out a couple years ago, dusted it off, bought some new reeds and books and went to town re-learning how to play. Another time, my husband rented a cello and I rented a viola and we spent a lot of time playing - we were both in the orchestra in High School.

Then, last night I had critique group, so I've been spending some time going through and critiquing the other girls' work, and last night, we got together and went over everything and I got a lot of great feedback on my story. So now, I'm excited about my writing again.

On the one hand, I think it's a good thing to follow the muse. By doing what I'm most excited about at that moment, I feel like I best tap into my creativity. On the other hand, I think I need to be more firm in telling my muse to be quiet and just buckling down and getting to work.

Does anyone have secrets they'd like to share that might help me accomplish my goals?

# 36 - Hold On, the Light Will Come

Despite the fact that I own hundreds of books, I rarely read one more than once.

It's kind of embarrassing, actually. It's just that there are so many books I love, and so many books I want to read. There isn't time in life to do it all.

So when I wanted to relax and read a book while I ate my chocolate on Mother's Day (Thank You Sunday School Presidency!), I was searching for a book I hadn't read yet. There was one book on the bookshelf that stood out to me immediately and I felt drawn to it. But I passed over it because I've already read it. But the Spirit was insistent and so I pulled it down, expecting to get bored soon and want to read something new.

Boy, was I wrong. This book was exactly what I needed to hear right now. I've actually been copying down quotes from it because they touched me so much.

I decided to give the book a shout-out because it's so wonderful.

The book is Hold on, the light will come - and other lessons my songs have taught me by Michael McLean.

This book is so inspiring and uplifting. It tells the stories behind many of his songs, where he was in his life and career when the song was written, and the things he learned through those experiences.

As a fellow "creative person" who is trying to write something the world will want to hear (re: read), I am relating so much to the stories and messages in this book. I highly recommend it, so go out and get yourself a copy. And after you read it, put it on the bookshelf because someday when you really need it, it will be ready and waiting for you to pick it up and discover it all over again.