Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Top Ten ways to wake up your muse

Top Ten Tuesday is back again! I'm beginning to really like Tuesdays...

I've heard some authors say the muse doesn't exist. Inspiration dries up and what's left is the hard work ethic that got them published to begin with. I can see that. Others say their muse is the reason they write and that without their creative juices flowing every day they'd be a useless brain sitting at the computer, checking twitter a gazillion times instead of creating something new. I can see that side too. Pardon me for a moment as I tweet this blog. Heh.

Before I delve into ways to shake life into your muse, you should know where they come from. Wikipedia reads, "The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature are the goddesses or spirits who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths."

So how can you get those darn sprites to behave and keep your ideas rolling? Here's Top Ten ways to wake up your muse:

10. Dance! Nothing beats shaking the cobwebs out of your brain by shaking your groove thang. The music should put you in a better place (emotionally and mentally) and rejuvenate you. And it's good to laugh at yourself every now and again.

9. Exercise. I don't know about you but after 45 minutes on the bike or treadmill, the ideas are flowing like the sweat from my pores.

8. Eat some chocolate. Okay, okay, so I may be a little of a chocoholic. Seriously though, some studies suggest dark chocolate stimulates brain functioning. It may hurt your waistline, but your story lines will improve.

7. Wash your car. Or the dog. There's something about the rush of a water hose and the hard use of my hands that makes my brain zone. During those when times I'm not really thinking of anything at all, inspiration squeaks through.

6. Free write. I'm sure you've heard of this. Sit down with a pad of paper and a pen and set a timer for fifteen minutes. Write about absolutely nothing at all. Grammar doesn't matter. Story doesn't matter. The point is to not stop writing for a single second and bypass the logical side of your brain. Think of it as a mini-lesson in nanowrimo.

5. Do nanowrimo! Follow the link above for all the info. Loads of published novels were birthed from that insanely freeing month including Rachael Herron's How to Knit a Love Song. (Which is one of my absolute faves written by one of my absolute faves!)

4. Garden. Or, in my case, kill plants that would've lived had they stayed at Orchard Supply. I have a black thumb. I can't keep cactus alive. Seriously people, look at my plants.



They're hanging on for dear life. BUT I've heard gardening on a daily basis releases endorphins that stimulate creativity. Something to think about...

3. Head to your special place for some quiet time. Whether it be the beach, the mountains, your bedroom, just go. By quieting your brain and infusing a sense of calm, that idea you've been struggling to pull out of nowhere may hit you like a ton of bricks.

2. Read. Read. Read. Books are gasoline that set your own ideas on fire. Light them up by reading everything and anything within reach.

And the number one thing you can do to wake up your muse is...

1. Talk it out with a critique partner or fellow writer. Find a writing group online. Yahoo! Groups search engine is one way to start. Plug in writing group to the search field and start chatting. I'd be careful who you share ideas with at first, but once you find someone you can trust there is nothing more valuable than bouncing ideas back and forth. Join writing groups in your local area and reach out to others in your position. Lisa Sanchez, author of Eve of Samhain, is my critique partner and I can't tell you how many times we've met for coffee after a grueling writing session. Every single time she got my brain moving again.

So there you have it! Ten ways to kick start your muse back into gear. So what works for you--any of the above? Or do you have your own little muse rocking secret? Care to share?

3 comments:

Anissa said...

Great list! I'm the same with indoor plants--black thumb. But give me a flower outside... :)

Amanda Sablan said...

Funny! And good tips here too. Exercise is a very good way of waking up your muse, but I also listen to music.

Kristin Miller said...

Anissa--you should see my garden. It really is a sad sight. I stick to rocks and roses.

Amanda--glad you found some of the tips helpful. You're absolutely right--music is great too.