Freeing Your Muse

MuseIn 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5.  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.

Comments 13

  • I did Artists Way twice. I didn’t think I got anything out of the first go around except a great friendship with the facilitator. I was so wrong. When the second session started and I reread the notes I wrote in the columns, I saw how wrong I was. I quickly got back to doing the morning pages, which ultimately became my “Mourning Pages, A Widows Journal.”
    A little Puccini-music no words-helps too.

  • Hi Lynne,
    Love this post.An early riser, I love the stillness in the ambiance of mornings:) I’ve posted some of your articles (credit intact) to my blog and I know readers appreciate your book writing tips!

    Clara.

  • Don’t forget to have a pen and little notebook with you all the time to capture those gems that happen spontaneously when you’re spending time with friends, laughing and talking and sharing life. Those are my favorites.

  • Great article. I am an Art Coach and I send articles regulary to my clients and prospective clients. Would you mind if I used your article? I would give you credit and not say it was mine. But I think it applies to anyone who creatively produces.

  • This article was made for me today…the beginning, a new beginning. September is my birth month. This year is one of those decade years…I am looking forward to make this new year my best one yet. A year of taking risks and finding new successess…thank you for your nudge.

  • I totally agree that this post is helpful. Somehow, the things you said really do work for me. The one I need to work on most, is capturing my thought when they come. I have found that many good thoughts have escaped me due to a failure to capture them immediately.
    Something else which works for me: “Praying before writing.” I ask for wisdom and direction. It may seem cliche or mundane, but it definitely puts me in the right frame of mind. Also briefly reading something inspirational, especially as it pertains to what I am writing about. That helps too.
    Regards,

    • I agree! Praying before writing is a wonderful way to connect with your soul and write from the deepest, wisest part of your heart. Thanks for sharing this.

  • I like the idea about writing down your thoughts upon first awaking.

  • Very helpful post Lynne! I especially like the part about meditating for a few minutes each day — which is a regular practice for me anyway — but I also find it helps to specifically pause (meditate) for a few minutes before I begin a writing a session. Doing a bit of grounding and connecting to Mother Earth and Father Sky, and activating my Sacred Heart does wonders to also tap into Divine Inspiration! : ) Thank you! Namaste!

  • My muse can be activated when I read, submit, polish, or write. As long as I’m doing something with my writing ( even promoting my book) it increases the likely hood that I’ll be jump started into a creative streak. I also have a blog written by the protagonist of my book. Getting into her head takes me out of mine and it is open for new characters.

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