In ancient mythology, a muse was a goddess who inspired artists. There were nine muses in Classical Mythology, each one responsible for inspiring a particular set of artists: one for poets, one for musicians, and even one for dancers and comedians.
Meet Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry, as imagined by a Roman sculptor in third century. Looks like she has a pen and tablet in hand, ready to write.
Today, we refer to a personal muse as a source of inspiration, creativity, and genius. I like to think of my muse as an angel of creativity whispering great ideas into my ear.
So, how can you access your muse, or spark of creative genius, so that you can develop your best writing?
To become more creative in your writing, try these five practices. Use them regularly. Your creativity will grow over time as you develop it, just like a muscle.
- Capture the first ideas you have in the morning. Keep a notebook in your bedroom. When you first awaken or while you shower, pay close attention to any ideas that come to you. Jot them down before you get busy with the remainder of your day. Many authors find the perfect solution to writing challenges when their mind is uncluttered and just waking up.
- Build structure for your writing. Your creativity will flow when you are not worried about what topic you will be writing about or which ideas you want to present. Spend time planning the content of your book or article before you begin to write it. When you know what you are going to say, you can be more creative when selecting the words you use.
- Meditate or sit quietly for at least 10 minutes every day. The stressed mind cannot be creative or even think very clearly. A few moments spent sitting quietly and clearing your mind will increase your creativity and bring many other benefits to your life, included decreasing your stress.
- Surround yourself with art and beauty. Ensure that your environment fosters creativity. Listen to music which you love, clean up the clutter, or splurge on an art poster or painting which inspires you. If you write in the same place every day, add something fresh or new regularly. Try rearranging the furniture, bringing in fresh flowers, or painting the walls. Freshen the environment where you write and you will feel a greater sense of possibility and a surge of new ideas.
- Have more fun! Ensure that you have time to laugh and enjoy yourself on a daily basis. When writers feel isolated, creativity dries up and writing becomes a chore instead of a work of art.
What fosters your muse? Share your ideas here for boosting your creative genius.