How To Kiss Up To Your Muse

DanielleLAPorte001The Muse of love, art, cash, strategy, worship, desire, wellness, beauty, business plans.

Don’t you adore her? Do you… adore her? Actively? Adore.

Muses simply must be adored. They’re as grandiose as they are generous. They like to be respected. If you meet them half way, they’ll give you the moon, the breakthrough concept, the stroke of… genius. Diss your muse and she’s likely to stop dropping by. She’s righteous. Genius is like that.

As Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) puts it in her freshly legendary TED Talk, we’ve made “a huge error in believing that creative genius comes from the Self,” rather than a greater source outside of us. Can you hear the Muses saying, “Yeah baby. Got that right. You say it sister.”

There are a zillion starry ideas floating in the milky way and they need you as much as you need them. Genius is looking for a vehicle. You gotta pimp your ride.


1. Drop everything when she shows up.
In an interview with Neil Young, Charlie Rose asks Neil about following his muse. (You won’t hear this in the clip below.)

Charlie: “So if you get an idea at say, a dinner party, if you hear a tune or a lyric, do you excuse yourself form the party?”
Neil: “Of course. You never know when she’ll [The Muse] come again. I’m responsible to her.”

When you feel an idea comin’ on, excuse yourself. Pull over to the side of the road. Get lost in the creative flow. Be late. Barge in. (Eccentricity makes Muses especially horny.)

2. Have your tools ready.
Master writer Anne Lamott, keeps 3×4 white note cards and pens in every purse and drawer and vehicle to capture thoughts that float out as quickly as they float in. If I leave home without my kraft Moleskine and blue medium point PaperMate pens, I feel discombobulated… like I might miss my train. Keep a notepad by your night stand. Leave yourself a voicemail. Don’t assume that the best ideas will come back to you.

3. Go looking for her.
You know where she likes to party: the art gallery, by the lake, on your morning run, when the stereo is cranked and the lights are low, in the stillness of a church or forest, when you first wake up. Set the stage and chances are she’ll take to it.

4. Engage her.
She’s busy, for sure, but The Muse LOVES it when you actually play with her. When she drops an idea in your bucket you can ask her what the hell she’s thinking. You can ask her what chapter should come next, or where to look for funding. She could yammer ’til dawn and before you know it, you’ve mapped out your magnum opus.

5. Do what she tells you to do.
Ignore your Muse at your own peril. She doesn’t always have it right, or maybe we don’t always hear her clearly, but the more you heed her wisdom, the faster you get to drive on the Creative Awesomeness Highway. You and The Muse in the diamond lane. Godspeed.




Danielle LaPorte is the outspoken creator of The Desire Map, author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown), co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and soon-to-be publisher of DANIELLE Magazine, launching in early 2014. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she writes weekly at, where over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice — a site that’s been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality,” and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes.

You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter @daniellelaporte.

  • Debs6266

    Thanks Danielle – I love this! And wish everyone would read it and ‘get it’! Stop signing yourself and your kids up for every activity/class/event offered … You’re impressing no one by sharing your busy schedule … Life is hectic enough. 🙂

    • Or even worse, don’t overbook yourself and your kids and then pretend that you’re NOT about to have a psychotic break so that the rest of us moms feel even more inferior. When in reality, you get home from the day and alternate between sucking your thumb and a bottle of wine in the corner because you’ve so traumatized yourself trying to keep up appearances. Ha! Not that I know anyone like this…:)

  • Dotty

    I really enjoyed your blog and it is packed with such truth…it’s all about taking accountability for our choices and being a grown up able to make choices and prioritize what’s really important in life. Thanks for you wise insight into a very pressing challenge is today’s living and loving…

  • Totally! Overbooking one’s life as an excuse to not experience it has become as culturally acceptable as reality shows about moonshining. Sheesh! Stop dressing up, come as you are! Then we can all party naked (metaphorically speaking, of course;) Hooray for you, Danielle! Loved this Haagen Dazs bar of truth.

  • S.M.


    • The Daily Love

      Thank you so much for reading! -Team TDL

  • Andrea

    Danielle! I think your Muse was behind this post! Genius! I have goosebumps! I am inspired! AND you mentioned 3 of my favorite people! Anne, Neil and Elizabeth! Now I can include Danielle LaPorte to that list! Thank you so much for this!

    • The Daily Love

      How fantastic, Andrea! We’re so glad Danielle’s post had such a strong impact on you 🙂 -Team TDL

  • Wow, I love this! It really resonated with me, because as a creative and artistic person who went into the engineering field, I often feel like I’ve lost my creativity and that it has just gone forever. This new perspective of the Muse coming to you like some sort of diva friend if you set the stage for what she likes is such a cool way to look at it! It gives me hope that I can once again tap into all that I used to be, as long as I nurture the environment for it. I do already keep a notebook at my bedside and in various places, but now I’ll make sure I have them everywhere! Thanks for this, it really gives me some hope in this area.

    Much love,

    • The Daily Love

      Great, Nina! We’re sure you’ll be able to tap back into your creative side 🙂 -Team TDL

  • Cher

    There is a small lake that actually sits within the city limits of the town I live in. I visit as often as I can, and my Muse is always there. I have vowed to carry my journal with me because she always inspires me to write. Thank you for this brilliant post Danielle.

    • The Daily Love

      That is so wonderful, Cher 🙂 We’re feeling relaxed and inspired just thinking about your moments on the lake. -Team TDL

  • Debbie

    Hi Danielle and Thankyou ! I am done and be fried along with you,Thankyou for this post because all the negativity I feel from being burnt out is gone,I feel this is my time to rest care for me and grow ,I hope to find peace on my journey and being burnt out has helped me to stop and realize I have choices and I can take care of me for now after a 27 yr run of taking care of others and not feel guilty because of it Thanks again,you are a blessing.

    • The Daily Love

      We’re so glad Danielle has inspired these realizations, Debbie! Thank you so much for sharing! -Team TDL

  • Susan Long

    love this, thank you

  • Camille

    I love this piece. I don’t know if it can be applied to this situation, but as a creative introvert, I often feel I force myself to be society’s idea of friendliness. I often feel that if I sink down into my solitude (which I so enjoy) or get listen intently instead of adding to the conversation, that I will be perceived as rude and aloof (which has already happened several times). Thing is–being around people all the time, feeling forced to speak or forced to be social…this makes me feel very weak and out of control. Today I really wanted to read at my desk for lunch, but ignored this craving because I didn’t want to be seen a rude. So I sat with co workers even though I felt alienated from the conversation and did not feel like being there at all–probably MORE rude in retrospect. I do enjoy spending time with people, mostly my friends, but really really really need to be alone or introspective instead of being loud and gregarious and going out to bars and clubs–it sucks my energy dry.
    Unfortunately America still prizes extroverts over introverts and I have times where I feel overlooked for doing what comes natural to me–being quiet. I also have times where I fake it to make it, and I dishonor myself trying to fit in.
    I’m trying to embrace it more, especially since so much new literature about introverts is coming out. But it’s a daily struggle.