Then he fell asleep.
He awoke to a familiar hand on his shoulder.
"Musie?" he said. "Musie, is that you?"
She smiled down at him. "Silly," she said, and wrapped him in a hug. He was a little startled, but after a second he hugged her back. It had been a while since a person who wasn't real had hugged the writer, and it was a tad disconcerting. She smelled nice - a wildflowery sort of perfume, and a hint of spearmint, from the gum she was chewing.
"What have you been writing?" she asked. She popped her gum.
The writer sighed. "Nothing. Don't pop your gum."
He tried to close his laptop.
She stopped him with a hand. "Nothing, eh? And I'll pop my gum if I want to. I'm your Muse, not your kid."
"I've been writing crap," he said. "If you really want to know."
"Oh," said Musie. "Good."
"Good?" said the writer. "Good, that I've been writing CRAP?"
"No, silly. Good that you've been writing."
The writer leaned back in his chair and looked up at her.
"Oh," he said.
"That's what makes you a writer, you know," said Musie. "Not me. You, writing. Nobody else gets to decide whether you're a writer or not. Just you."
She grinned, and popped her gum again.
And when she did, the room around them vanished, and they sat in a small meadow full of wildflowers.
"Don't tell your muse what to do," she said, smiling.
"What's all this?"
"It symbolizes... mm, well, probably spring," she said.
"But it's winter."
"Yes. But not in your writing. It's time to start something new."
The writer gave her a tired grin. "I think I'm ready for a new project, Musie."
She nodded. "I know you are. You've done well, you know, on things past. But it's time to start your next novel."
"Yes," said the writer. "Will you help me?"
"Of course," said the Muse.
And the Muse sat down in her chair next to the writer, and the writer put his hands to the keyboard, and they began to write, wildflowers all around them moving in the breeze.