One Melissa Nann Burke let me know about RadioLab, a fantastic NPR program that takes a look at the human side of science through very "This American Life"-esque kinds of stories. If you don't listen to it already, it's really interesting and not so sciencey that the un-sciencey among us won't appreciate it.
So, I've been catching up with RadioLab podcasts the past couple weeks so that I have some grown-up voices in the house periodically (otherwise it's just cooing, crying, meowing and barking).
One of their recent episodes "Help!" had a segment called "Me, Myself, and Muse" in which two writers, Oliver Sacks and Elizabeth Gilbert of "Eat, Pray, Love" fame talk about the bargains they make with themselves and their muses when they're writing (or not writing).
I loved that one of the producers described taking care of your muse or creative spirit as petting a golden retriever. Such a great image and I think pretty true in some cases. The segment might be a little metaphysical for us practical-minded journalists, but hopefully you can glean something useful or relatable from it.
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