As a Writer you build up walls of intellectual power and security to compose behind. You get an idea in your head and you attempt to stick with it and make it your own.
Much like an athlete, you build a routine from repetition. You daily train, configure, and struggle to be consistent. You do this and things go well. You get published. You get rejected. You kill yourself. You thrive with you surroundings. All of these accomplishments and failings are an end result of the wall that you put up around your writing that allows you to reach that point.
That was my belief. But, sometimes, someone peaks over your wall and throws a ball from their side and dares you to play catch with them. They giggle at what you write, your perspective, and your meager surroundings. They offer you brilliance and continue to throw that ball over the wall.
great writers take this perspective and make it theirs. They consume the other side of reality and put up another wall on that horizon, letting inevitability decide their fate. The great writers; Hemingway, Plato, and Byron were not scared to test the waters on uncomfortable disclosure and conquer the unknown world. Each would put up a wall, and let that world consume them.
As a writer, a poet, a philosopher, or a human being you will find yourself at that crossroad Robert Frost discussed. The road less traveled will make all the difference. It may make you, break you, or reinvent you. But, before you find out you must be willing to look for a partner across the great divide of walls and be willing to play catch with them. They are more than authors or a muse. They can give you a new perspective, a new voice, and a chance at the genius of true originality.