Posted by: Matt Q. McGovern | June 26, 2012

Visiting our Muse

I recently finished reading Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, which is one of my favorites reads. I’ve read the entire series (11 volumes in total) over fifteen times and I never get tired of it. To say that it is an inspiration to my muse would be an understatement.

One of the characters that keeps me entertained throughout is the Librarian of the realm of Dream. His job is to keep the library in order, which is a tall task considering that every book that anybody ever thought to write but never did (in short, they dreamed of it) can be found in this library. So, the library is always expanding at a mind-boggling pace.

The concept of such a library comes up in my mind whenever I visit any library. Just walk around the stacks and pick up any book. Read the title, the back flap, and maybe even start it or just read a page at random. Think of the author and what the subject of the book meant at the time. For each book you see, there is a story behind it:
– the story itself
– the author’s story of writing it
– the inspiration that influenced the author
– the representation of the book before publication
– the path of the book after publication through book stores, etc.
– the success of the story such that it could become popular enough to land on that shelf
– the reading experience of every reader that had their hands on the book in your hands
– the influence this book has on any reader

Besides the fact that it’s a joyful experience to go browsing through the library, the muse can blossom too. Your mind opens up to new ideas, and old ideas can get a new perspective. Picture your own book on any of those shelves and try to work backward, imagining the path your book took. By doing this, you can fast forward past the challenges you may be facing while writing, knowing that you will eventual solve them and move on.

In the Sandman series, there was much adventure in the realm of Dream, and just reading it made me look to think about my realm. Each of us has that realm of Dream that reflects the world we live in. Visiting it is beneficial to writing, and there’s no better place for me to do that than the library.

Visit your library today!



  1. […] I wrote a blog post a few years back about visiting our muse and was thinking of how I do it nowadays. […]


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