Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Coaxing Back Your Muse

The day will come when you will stare at your computer screen and paralysis will take hold of you. Your mind is a blank and your fingers won't move on the keyboard. Unfortunately your Muse has left you for another.

Mirriam Webster's Deluxe Dictionary, (c)1998, defines "Muse" as any of the nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology presiding over song and poetry and the arts and sciences . Well no wonder, that is an overwhelming job for nine ladies to handle alone. So how do you coax yours back?

I have a few suggestions. You may have success with just one, or you may need to try them all. If they fail you may need to come up with something else...in that case, please share with the rest of us.

(1) Force your way through. Sit at your keyboard and type anything that comes to mind...your grocery list, Bible scripture, a letter to the editor...for as long as it takes your muse to check in.

(2) Take a favorite book and copy the text. Type until you are convinced that you can write better than the author. Well, almost.

(3) Find a book with suggested writing exercises. Pick an exercise and do it until inspiration grabs you. Try "The Writer's Book of Days" by Judy Reeves, "The Writer's Idea Book" by Jack Heffron, or "Story Sparkers" by Debbie Dadey & Marcia Thornton Jones.

(4) Get away from the computer. Sit in a comfortable chair and read the kind of books you would like to write. Read all you can find until you feel motivated to write your own.

(5) Read your favorite book about writing, one you read before, the one that ignites a spark in you, and stirs you to write.

(6) If you normally write at the computer try writing in a different setting with pen and paper, or pencil and tablet like Jon-Boy Walton.

(7) Do something that is not writing related and doesn't require a lot of thought...like housework. Perhaps something will come to you while you are scouring the sink, or you can clear the cobwebs from your mind while cleaning the cobwebs from your ceiling.

(8) Communicate with writer friends online or in person. Use e-mail or instant messaging. Call local writer friends on the phone. Be spurred to do what they are doing...write!

(9) Sit in a comfortable chair and browse through old photo albums. Think about the pictures...let them remind you of events in your life or your children's lives that may provoke an idea. Keep a notepad handy just in case something comes to you.

If all else fails:

(10) Blow a kiss to your Muse and wave goodbye. Tell her you don't care anymore. Put on your walking shoes and go for a walk, the longer the better. Take time to smell the flowers, soak up the sunshine, breathe the fresh air, and listen to the birds sing. It will drive your Muse crazy. I'm betting she will come running after you and you can finish the walk together. There's more than one way to coax back your Muse!

(c)2006 Sharon A. Soffe

1 comment:

sylvia c. said...

Love your ideas! These are great. I'm gonna keep them nearby, JUST in case my muse goes on strike.

I'll be ready :)


Sylvia C.