When she is calm she moves about me like a gentle breeze, patiently waiting for me to notice her. If ignored she will begin to interrupt me at the most inconvenient times. She soon becomes unrelenting and forceful until there is no escaping her. The only thing I can do is pay her the attention she demands, I have no choice but to sit down and write. Then and only then is my muse happy with me again.
I like to imagine inspiration as a Greek goddess who follows me around and whispers sweet nothings in my ear. I am not alone in referring to inspiration as my muse. Just sign into twitter and type muse in the search box and you will find a long list of writers that are using the word muse this way. Heck the notion goes all the way back to Ancient Greece.
Having a muse may very well be the first and most important part of writing. Let’s face it, if there is no inspiration or idea there, then what are you able to write about? Perhaps the muse is what separates writers from non-writers. So what if your muse disappears halfway through your work in progress, what can you do to get it back?
- Read something. Reading and writing go hand in hand. Most of us writers tend to be avid readers anyway. I keep some of my favourite books around just for those moments when I need a little extra inspiration. I find nothing makes me want to write more than when I’ve read a really good book.
- Write something, anything. I know, I know the problem you have is you’re lacking inspiration but sometimes writing something else helps get those creative juices flowing. Try a new genre, join in on a writing challenge, use a prompt, make a grocery list, it doesn’t matter what you write as long as you are writing something. Blogging has helped me with my own blocks, it is writing but in a different way.
- Switch writing medias. If you tend to write using good old pen and paper try typing something on the computer instead. The same goes the other way around. Words that look different from the ones you see every single day tend to become more exciting. I like to play with different fonts or styles of handwriting too.
- Get out and live life. Go to an art gallery, take a walk, see a film or people watch. Living life is fabulous fuel for the inspiration fire plus it gives us so much more experience to draw from when we are writing. I also find art inspires art, so the more creative living you immerse yourself in the more creative you should become. Surrounding oneself with other writers through groups (either live ones or online ones) is brilliant for the support and the inspiration.
How do you get your muse back? What inspires you?
Here are some links to other blog posts that contain ideas about inspiration or muses.
- Cynthia Robertson – She
- Jami Gold – Do you have a muse?
- Sonia G Medeiros – A-musing (The People in my Head, Part 1)
- Musings on the Muse
- The Muse
- Killing Miss Q.
- Writing Rituals: Train Your Muse to Be a Creature of Habit