Do you have any writing ‘rituals’ to get yourself and muse in the mood? Do light a candle, take a bubble bath, burn incense or meditate? Some type of action that will “open the door” to the world of spirit and the mysteries of imagination.
How do you kick start your muse? This is a much discussed topic among writers. And one I have participated in. I just completed a wonderful on-line workshop by DD Scott – Muse Therapy. This dealt with more coming to terms with the type of writer you are and how to use that.
From the all the articles I’ve read, the loops I’ve chatted in, and classes I been a part of, here are some basic things all agree on:
Carry a small pad of paper and a pen with you at all times. You want your muse to know you are prepared for her visit. Keep a notebook or journal next to your bed to write down interesting dreams. Your muse may visit you as you sleep and give you great ideas.
Take care of your body, the “temple” that hosts your writing muse. Eat regular, healthy meals and exercise daily.
Surround yourself with positive people who support your creativity and writing life. THIS is very important. If your spouse or family just aren’t to the point they ‘get’ your writing yet find someone who does. HINT: It will most likely be another writer. J
Try not to be too perfectionist with your writing. At least sometimes, let yourself write first and edit later. Your muse likes to visit when your “inner critic” is turned off.
The web can offer some writing ‘aides’ as well as distractions.
Here you enter the amount of words and the time you want to do them in. This is great for those of who get distracted easily – by say – the dust floating in front of the computer screen. http://writeordie.drwicked.com/
For this sight, determine a number before go and then move your mouse over that number for prompt. If you just move your mouse over numbers waiting for you muse to be ‘moved’…chances are you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and never pick one. http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/
A different picture each day to stimulate you visually. I tend to love visuals to write from. Not just a ‘plain’ picture but collages or even cartoons. I picture in my mind as I write so it’s great to have some of it all ready in place for me. http://www.creativity-portal.com/prompts/365/pictures.html
There about a million books out there with writing prompts. One that has worked well for me is The Write-Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer. I like it because it has a WIDE range of variety and never really ties in with what I’m writing. I know you’re probably going – huh? Doesn’t tie in? Nope, it’s just creative ‘gibberish’ in my case that helps to get me focused. If I’m in the middle of a story and I’m having problems shifting from my day persona to my night writing persona this works great for me to make that transition.
Charlotte Dillon has a great weekly prompt group – RWCprompts@yahoogroups.com. Her prompts however are romance related and often spark more than I want. They have provided GREAT story starters! This is where the seed for The Gamble and Treasure Hunt came from. As well as my current WIP and two that waiting their turn to come to out and play. So you can see the problem for me – to do these types of prompts drag me future down the rabbit hole and away from my current WIP.
The bottom line in writing – WRITE. Sometimes, you just can’t wait for your muse to want to play. You have to drag the ball out and do it yourself. I know, I’ve heard those who claim a true artist can’t perform without their muse. Well, in truth, I look at this as career – I’m a writer. There are days when in my other job – my teaching muse just isn’t around but I can’t cancel class. Although my students would be okay with it, I’m sure my principal wouldn’t understand the lack of my teaching muse. When this happens…I go in and face the kiddo’s and teach…I also sit down and write. Usually, I find once I make myself get started, it works in both cases.
Now, there are times you need a break, just like I need mental health days from my class. Give yourself those but keep them limited.
I guess what I’m saying here is – you have to come to a place in your head as to where your writing fits into your life. I have decided writing is a career and as such I need to do if I’m feeling like it or not.
What are some of the ways you spark your muse? Or kick it in the butt? How do you get the ball rolling if you muse just flat out refuses to come out and play?