Dispelling a Myth about your Muse: are you ready to show up?

Michael Williams
5 min readJan 15, 2024
Image by 6689062 from Pixabay

Like many of you, I sat down as the year ended and thought about the changes and intentions I’d bring to the new year. One of those intentions was to write more poetry.

Now, I haven’t written poetry in a long time, at least not on a regular basis since I was a pimply teenager. I used to love poetry and wrote regularly for the high-school newspaper. Later, I combined my love of poetry and folk music and had a go at writing songs. When Chuck G, the most popular boy in our class, agreed to sing one of my songs (“The Ballad of Lambert Jones”) in a class performance, I was chuffed. I was going to be the next Bob Dylan.

Except that I didn’t.

As much as I had desired to be a writer, I also needed to make money and get away from home. The next few years saw me working in a mine, a series of factories, and hitchhiking around Europe and North America. I carried a journal and when the mood struck me, I wrote in it. A snatch of a song here and there.

As happens with many of us wannabe writers, life’s many other attractions got in the way. I became a counsellor working with adolescents in care and later a teacher, a career that took me into my 50s before I succumbed to a mid-life crisis and embarked on an itinerant life as a storyteller. Some would argue that I would have been better off buying a sports car.

Storytelling, combined with my experience as a teacher and counsellor, led me to do therapeutic work with individuals as well as community and corporate organizations around issues of performance, leadership, team-building, and well-being. In 2017, I trained as an End-of-Life Planning Facilitator and became the organization’s Head Trainer, a role that has allowed me to rekindle my interest in writing, particularly memoirs and, interestingly, poetry.

So, with the new year hours away, I decided to integrate writing into my intentions. This time, I’d be more realistic. I resolved to write a haiku a day. After all, a haiku consisted of only 3 lines structured along a 5–7–5 syllable pattern. How difficult could it be?

Apparently, it was more difficult than I imagined.

Firstly, my inner critic, having been trained as a fastidious academic, told me that I…

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Michael Williams

I’m a storyteller, StoryCoach, writer, accredited End-of-Life Planning Facilitator, spiritual mentor & podcast host. Oh yeah, I play ukulele.