There is a little fairy that lives behind the curtain next to my desk. Tucked in the darkness of the space-saving-organizer-unit, she hibernates unseen most of the time. I call her Gladys. She is timid and happy to stay sequestered away most days. It is difficult to do my job without her and often I have to coax her out of the closet with chocolate.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could call on our muse to come out and sit on our shoulders while we write? Then tuck her away in a closet until the next time we crack our knuckles to type in our novels. The muse in me is a persnickety little creature who shows up in the weirdest moments; when I am in the tub, or sound asleep, or driving, those times when finding a keyboard to type on are nearly impossible. This causes a big problem. When I need to write, the muse is often absent.
How do we encourage our creativity to appear when we need it? Here are a few simple steps to coax Gladys out of the closet.
Just like any other fairy, Gladys needs nourishment. She doesn’t eat peanut butter sandwiches (contrary to popular opinion). She needs inspiration. Three particular morsels will nourish Gladys above all others.
Nature: The beauty of creation, vast and powerful, will give my inner muse weeks and weeks of creativity.
It doesn’t have to be the Grand Canyon or the white sands of the Bahamas, just the view from my hammock is enough to purge the dull and help my inspiration soar to new heights.
Plus it’s free! Even better!
Find a cozy corner of nature near your neck of the woods and invite your Gladys to come out to play.
Art: Creativity begets creativity.
Another way to encourage inspiration is to indulge in various art forms. I love to listen to or play music, engage in the dramatic arts, (opera, plays, the symphony, rock out at a Red concert, or simply play the Civil Wars on my MP3.) I douse myself in beautiful paintings, colors, photographs. One live Celtic Woman concert gave me inspiration to continue a 5 book series.
There are so many ways to indulge in artistic expression, find your favorites and fill your down time with artistic activities that will feed the machination.
Books: There is nothing better for enhancing your writing, than reading those who do it well.
Every writer has his own way of putting words together. Read them, chew on them, read them again, study them, take them in. I read my favorites up to 5 times.
- the first read through is quick, just for the story
- the next time I try to get inside the author’s head (plots, world building)
- then I will read to absorb the voice and points of view
- again for the flow, the pacing, the vocabulary.
Each repeat brings new revelation. If you want to be a writer, study successful writers. Feed your muse with jobs done well, teach her how you want to write.
Oh that minxy little muse will lure you into all kinds of resistance! She must be controlled. My worst distraction is when she decides I need to sketch out my characters, or scenes. I am a terrible drawer…zero skill…but Gladys insists on making me draw, paint, decorate, rearrange, sign up to direct the church play, spend hours at the piano or guitar or ukulele. All fine and dandy, but I should be writing! Not playing around with Gladys! She is a mischievous fairy and lures me away to la la land every chance she can. So, I must set boundaries for how much time I will allow Gladys to monopolize.
“Lalala…doesn’t your pretty blue guitar need new strings? Let’s string her!”
“Oh, yeah, I guess I need to… GLADYS!”
“Hey, look! We could paint a butterfly on that board and it would make the Scriptorium so pretty!”
“oooOOOooo, yeah! I have just the shade of blue in my paint box! What? NO! I need to write, Gladys!”
*Gladys will take me for long journeys down distraction lane, if I don’t rein her in and make her behave.
Daily talks with Gladys
It’s fun to think of my creative side as a playful fairy, but the truth is I do recognize a higher power at work in me at times. A separate and other author of creativity. Without him there is nothing fresh or creative in the entire world. One writer said it like this. “If He would decide to hold his breath, all flesh would perish and man would return to dust.” Without his breath, (the word inspiration actually means ~to breathe in) creativity ceases to exist.
So have daily talks with your true inspiration, your higher power, develop regular spiritual interaction with your muse. As He breathes creativity into you, your words will become inspirational and significant.
Each writer has rituals that work best to release creativity into artistic words. Ask your fellow artisans what they do to keep creativity high, then try it. The muse demands attention, I can’t wait to see what she inspires you to do.
Now, I am off to find Gladys…where did I put that chocolate?
Please share the one method that works best for you for keeping your creativity fresh.
I am LaDonna Cole and I am a Blue Monkey, Writer, Nurse, Therapist, Mom, and Ukulele singer extraordinaire! I write fiction/fantasy including Heartwork Village Stories, The Blood Singer, The Sisterhood of the Sword Saga, and many other yet-to-be-seen-by-the-human-eye works. Check out me and my imaginary peeps at www.HeartworkVillage.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, and www.facebook.com/LaDonnaColeAuthor
This blog first published on ObeytheMuse.com