So my best friend popped up on IM this morning and the following conversation occurred.
Z: have you ever heard of this horse bird muffin?
J Um no. But I’ve heard of a picaken—two pies baked into a cake.
Z hahaha ok. first of all — two pies baked into a cake sounds disgusting
Z totally! second of all — horse bird muffin is game regarding your facial features
According to Z, all people’s faces can be described using some combination of horse, bird or muffin. We decided she is a bird, but a sexy bird instead of a bird of prey. She’s like a cardinal or a peacock. We also decided I am a muffin. I’m not sure whether this is something I should brag about. Because on the one hand, who doesn’t love a delicious muffin? But on the other hand–“muffin face” isn’t exactly a sexy description, is it?
Anyway, I decided Horse, Bird, Muffin needed some googling. Turns out it’s not just a demeaning way to describe people’s faces. It’s also a personality test. It goes something like this:
Horses are dependable, hard workers who take orders well.
Birds are creative but flighty and hard to control.
Muffins do the least amount of work possible.
According to the prevailing stereotype, most writers would fit in the bird category. We have a bit of reputation for having our heads in the clouds, puffing out our plumage and strutting our ideas around, and demanding that our bird baths be filled with either bourbon or cocaine to dull the pain of being such a tortured artiste.
Alternately, we’re famous for lazing about on fainting couches or staring into the middle distance while we “brainstorm.” This usually involves copious baked goods and/or methamphetamines.
But laying about like people in a Fiona Apple video or sitting in cafes expounding on the importance of narrative structure and how how we’re going to write an existentialist novel about the plight of the modern mime doesn’t get the books written. For that, we have to shape-shift into a horse. You might think it’s easier to type with a beak than a hoof, but you’d be wrong. Birds don’t want to sit at their computers all day plodding through the work of laying words on the page. They want to fly around. And muffins just lay there, useless.
Yet, all three of these states must exist to get a work done. Often simultaneously. And so I decided that the horse, bird, muffin analogy doesn’t quite work for writers (because we’re special, right?). Instead, I humbly submit to you that to be a writer, you must have a different archetypal personality altogether.
You have to be a mother effin PEGASUS.
A pegasus who only occasionally indulges in muffins.
Think about it: In order to write you must be simultaneously creative and hard working. You must also allow your subconscious time to reboot, which is where the occasional muffin comes in. I say occasional because no self-respecting Pegasus would allow an unsightly muffin top to mar their sexy silhouette.
Pegasus doesn’t allow writer’s block to stand in his way. He stomps it with his hooves of doom and flies over the wreckage . Pegasus doesn’t tremble as the deadline nears. She puts her head down and shoots word lightning from her hooves!
I really have no idea how any of this will help you, exactly. Except maybe you could print out that sweet picture of Pegasus and hang it over your computer screen. That way when you get a craving for muffins or you start to take yourself too seriously, you can look at Pegasus and think, “No! Today I’ll spread my wings and let the world hear my triumphant whinny!”
Or you could, you know, watch reality TV.