I feel a little sad today. On the long commute across the lake I started thinking about my father, and of a poem I wrote for him once long after he was dead and I was grown. At the same time they played a couple of sad songs on the radio back to back. Then I started thinking of my own son. He's 19 now and living on his own, and I sure miss seeing him as much as I used to.
That sequence and combination of events sent my mood into a mini-crash. And almost immediately I began to think of how to express my emotions in poetry. That got me to wondering about how important mood is in writing, not the mood of the "piece" you're working on, but your personal mood. I think sometimes it's too important to me, meaning that I don't necessarily write fiction these days unless my mood is right. That's a burgeoning habit that I have to break.
Do you think that when people talk about the "muse" they might really mean "mood?" They can't write unless the muse is with them, but maybe the muse isn't with them because they aren't in the right mood. I know that for myself, I can force, or at least invoke, a mood that fits the piece I'm working on, but it isn't always easy. And sometimes it seems to get harder as I get older.
Damn, maybe I should just write some poetry now and shut up.