I realised some time ago that until [storm], I had created work for my mentors, my judges. Then the teachers all started dying (and I got older and became myself a teacher) and I discovered the joy of creating work for the muse, the beloved. So much more fun and erotic. Also, so much more heartbreak.
ML suggested: muses inspire, mentors influence?
The other thing about muses is that they rarely deserve all the love you heap on them. But you love anyway. Because your life depends on it.