Sunday, May 11, 2014

Coaxing the Muse

I wish I could take as many vacations as my muse. She also likes to wake late, go to sleep early and it’s quite common for her to siesta from lunch until dinner. She doesn’t like me if I’m sick or cranky and she really hates that I’ve given up coffee. (TBH, I’m not a fan of that either.) And now that it’s almost summer, it’s likely she’ll wander off without any reason at all.

So when my muse (codename: Ariela von Driessen) can’t be found, what do I do? Do I sink into the doldrums and watch hours of Netflix on the couch? No! I do something—anything—to try to coax her back.
Let the coaxing begin.
My reading list is longer than most interstates. So if I’m stuck staring at a blank page, I pick something from my to-read pile and fill the void with pages full of words. It usually sparks something.

Or do anything mindless, really. My muse tends not to be found when she’s needed the most, but if I stop needing her, she’ll likely pop back in unexpectedly.

Go Outside
Maybe I’ll find inspiration in the way the sun shines through the clouds or the way the trees blow in the breeze or even in the rain as it falls to earth. (Or maybe I'll find her sunbathing by the pool.)

Flee to social media. Catch a laugh on Tumblr. Respond to fellow writers on Twitter. Visit blogs and websites and watch videos. Leave comments! 

Write anyway
I shouldn’t require a muse to put words on paper. Though her presence is soothing and I’m a fan of light bulb inspiration, it’s much more satisfying when hard work gets the scene written and edited!

“If the muse is late for work, start without her.” –Peter S. Beagle

Waiting for the muse and doing nothing in the meantime is the worst thing I can do for my writing. With or without Ms. Ariela von Driessen (yes, she’s as finicky as she sounds), I write. Or I do something similarly productive in the writing scheme of things to get the juices going. Then I write.

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