My wife and I have shared 13 Valentine’s Days together. But we have been together almost 15 years. That seems like one Valentine Day short doesn’t it? (Okay it seems like two, but we started dating March 5th, after Valentine’s Day 1999).

It is. We were separated for one. Still, we shared some things that day. Even when apart we were never totally separate. And she never gave up on me. For that, I can be eternally grateful, because I would not be where I am today without her. Days like today make me realize when the biggest change in my life came, and honestly, it was when I let the muse out of its cage, never to be imprisoned again.

climberThe muse seeks adventure. My muse has always been with me, and has caused the most trouble when I refused to satisfy his craving to create. If I am not creating through words on a page, or pictures on a screen, I still need release somewhere. Channeling the muse is vital. The need to tell stories is innate. If I do not write, and create fiction, he will create fiction and adventure elsewhere, with painful results. I need to feed, and soothe the muse, or disastrous chaos will ensue.

mustangThe muse must be harnessed and tamed. Ever see the show where they take wild mustangs and train them to be good riding horses in 100 days? Yeah, you need to do that with your muse. The trouble caused by not doing so actively through creating story can, and has for many, resulted in alcohol and drug abuse, and addiction across the board. Fair warning: none of these quiet your muse. It will resist numbing until it tears you apart.

The muse needs a partner. Unless you want to live alone, do nothing but write, and have no friends and family, your muse needs a calming partner. Someone who doesn’t necessarily have the same drive you do, but accepts your passion and keeps you grounded in life. My wife is that partner for me. If you have not found yours, keep searching. There is no greater value.

Do not imprison your muse. Set it free, tame it with practice, temper it with love. Happy Valentine’s Day. Eat, Write, Love.