From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Thursday, February 9, 2012

5 Ways to Replenish Your Muse

This is in part (ok, ok...in full) inspired by Roni Loren's post from yesterday about protecting your muse. It's a great post, and I'd definitely recommend checking it out. But I thought I'd add some of my own thoughts on the subject.

Roni talked about protecting your muse. I'd like to talk about feeding it. Nurturing it. Making it grow so you can live a long and happy life together. So here goes.

1. Meet other people's muses. Muses are social creatures, and shrivel up and become embittered when you don't let them out to play. So read good books, listen to music, go to art museums, watch great movies and television. It's like school and recess for your muse all rolled in to one.

2. Lube the engines. (Lube...ha.) Your mind is not a separate entity from your body. It's part of it. People think a lot about the mind controlling the body, but not so much about the body controlling the mind. And it happens, in a negative way, if we're not careful. If you don't get the right foods, or not enough sleep, or don't get the blood pumping often enough, your mind (your Muse) pays the price, not just your body.

3. Give your Muse a break. This is probably the hardest one for me. This also goes back to the whole sleeping thing. But it's not just that. Often your muse needs a break in your waking hours as well. Sometimes its helpful to let yourself think about nothing, and don't stress about it. I'm not good at that, or the sleeping thing. I think, though, this is where your subconscious can work wonders.

4. Stock your pantry. This is why I carry around a notebook. When our muse is happy and working well, we need to make sure and take advantage of it. Keep all your ideas written down and ready for any dry spells. Then you'll still have stuff to work with when your muse takes a sick day.

5. Stretch new muscles. Let your muse try something she hasn't tried before. If you write young adult, try historical or sci-fi. If you write novels, try short stories or poetry or a screenplay. Try painting or writing music. Your muse may grumble and say its too hard, but try it anyway. You could end up with some pretty impressive results.

And remember, be happy. You love this, remember? And whether or not she wants to admit it, so does your muse.

Sarah Allen

7 comments:

  1. I love all this advice! Especially the part about lubing the engines, same with stretching the creative muscles. Lately I fear my muse has been shriveling in the corner. Time to visit some friends. ;)

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  2. Fantastic advice Sarah. My tip would be reverse psychology. Sometimes the muse behaves like a petulant child. The more you tell it to do something, the more it wants to do the opposite (a.k.a nothing). If you stop panicking about producing ideas and tell the muse to have a break, it will suddenly burst into life, interrupting your regular life at inconvenient moments with random tangents and irresistable plots.

    So just tell you muse to relax for a while and see where it takes you.

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  4. I love this, especially the one about taking a break. Too often we feel guilty about doing that, it's nice to remember it's actually good for you :-)

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  5. The way your framed this idea is very cool. The mind body connection is something I think we take for granted. I always feel more inspired when I've pounded the pavement for two miles,usually while fueling up on music in the process.

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