5-Minute Muse

I’m always curious about what/who creative people use as their Muse. There are many definitions out there — most of them lofty and romantic. My definition is a bit simpler: whoever or whatever motivates your lazy butt to create whatever it’s meant to create.

Yesterday at the gym, Misty asked me how it is I get up every day and make myself stay on that elliptical machine for an hour. I actually have a really good — and very true — answer to this question.

Iris Johansen wrote a book — I think it was The Ugly Duckling — where a woman’s family is killed, and she only survives by the skin of her teeth. She has to have facial reconstructive surgery so she looks nothing like she used to, and she is determined to ramp up her physical therapy so that she can take revenge on the people who killed her child. The therapy is exceptionally painful, but she keeps telling herself: “Five more minutes. Just five more minutes.”

I do that sometimes at the gym — especially when I’ve been on hiatus for one reason or another and I’m just starting back. Right around 30 minutes I start to feel horrible and I tell myself: “Just five more minutes.” A few times, it has only been five more minutes. Most days, though, I can push myself to do the full hour (plus a 5-minute cooldown).

I always hate that I get up in the morning too late to join Catie Murphy in Twitter with her #Wordwars, but perhaps I can rustle up a few of my freelance friends and do some “sprints” throughout the day to get me started. All I need to do is get started, really. After that, it’s just five more minutes.