Where I drag my Muse when I need a nudge with my writing…
With NaNoWriMo right around the corner (you can find me here as Last Krystallos) …writing a book in only 30 days across November, you might benefit from a couple of ideas to help keep your muse around!
I don’t often get writer’s block, it’s more like, plot fog – where my Muse gets a bit disoriented and lost amid swirling mists and confusion. So what do I do to combat her inattention or bewilderment?
I have several things that help inspire me and refocus my Muse:
My first ‘go to’ is write some Flash Fiction. There are lots of Flash Fiction sites online and you can find a prompt, a picture, or a word, or a piece of music, and you write a short story or snippet based on the prompt. If there’s nothing online, peruse your photos or your own music and find something to kickstart your imagination. Set yourself 100 words and see what you can write, you’ll be surprised and often impressed with your short tales!
Cloud Watching. Have you ever gazed up at the sky and watched the clouds pass by? What do you see? I see whales, dolphins, dragons and all sorts of mythical creatures. Clouds can form castles, beaches, mountain vistas and sunlit scenes. Out with my daughter recently, we gazed up at what was definitely the Starship Enterprise, I only wish I hadn’t been driving and could have taken a picture! Write about what you see.
If I need inspiration I go for A Walk. It helps that I have a dog so walks are frequent anyway! It doesn’t always matter where you go; the act of walking and allowing your mind to scroll through whatever it wants often conjures up inspiration, storylines and fills plot holes!
Nature, connecting with clouds and walking, not only do you have time to think while you’re out absorbing nature, but maybe what you see will inspire your Muse? I love bluebells and our local woods were full of them during April and May. Trees have also inspired me; my second book is ‘Beneath the Old Oak’, so literally inspired by a poem about an old oak! Let the wind whispering in the trees lower your guard, let the grass tickle your feet, and let the flowers fill you with hope.
The Ocean needs its own place on this list. It’s vast, and can change in an instant, just like your Muse! Not much beats walking on the seashore to inspire me. Waves can be calm and as still as a millpond, and they can rage like a tempest. The ocean ebbs and flows and ideas do the same. Imagine a battle between pirates out on the sea, or selkies bobbing in the still water, or a contemporary romance beneath the sunset on the sand… The ocean drifts with a million stories…
Be Creative. Make something. Play with clay, draw, get out your paints, do anything that requires physical creativity. See what you can shape and how it inspires you.
My last piece of advice is to Go And Do Something Else instead. Top of the list, go for a drive – you must have experienced that plot reconstruction that came to you while you were driving, and you panicked to hold onto it until you could pull over and add it to your memo app or write it down? Go to sleep – did you not know that your mind will give you your best genius plots as you fall asleep? Note them down too, as you’ll never remember them in the morning… Start a mundane task and see how quick your Muse decides vacuuming isn’t much fun and you’d much prefer to write!
There are many more ways to redirect your Muse, what are your favourite ways?