Talking to Your Muse

Me: Hey Muse... feeling uninspired today. You wanna help me out here and cut me some slack.

Muse: What’s up? Stuck again? How can I help you more? I’ve already given you lots of ideas for stories and artwork.

Me: I know, but I need some advice on how to write this article. For some reason it’s not going the way I want it.

Muse: How is it supposed to go?

Me: Anything but how it's showing up on the blank page. I want it to be fun and uplifting but it’s hard to do when you feel anything but uplifting. I’d rather go to the bookstore and look at all the eye candy.

Muse: Why don’t you?

Me: I already told you, I have this article to write. Can’t abandon it just because I want to indulge in my book buying habits. I consider this column my job. Besides, I need to save money.

Muse: I see. Well, you can tell them all sorts of things. Like how writing down their thoughts about their creative projects can help them brainstorm ideas. Or that talking with their characters can help identify just exactly who that character is and what they want to do in their story. Like you did with Xep. If you hadn’t asked her what she wanted to do, then you’d have never known that she wanted to be free from that box. Or that she was even in the box in the first place. You can tell them that writing down how they feel and having their inner Freud ask them questions can help them identify the core issues they’re facing in their lives and why they’re feeling stifled and blocked creativity. And that doing so may help them break the block.

Me: Heh. Sounds good. How come you make it sound so good and when I try and type it all down it’s so difficult and blah and boring. What if I screw up?

Muse: You make it harder than it is. You can’t screw up. How can you? Creativity is about exploration and screwing up always results in great mistakes known as “art”. Besides, if you don’t take the risk and dare, you’ll never know what you can do in there. So, how’s that for inspiration? Does that help any?

Me: Yeah, it does.

Muse: Good. Now remember, you can do it. Just start writing and see what happens. BTW, look up... you’ve just finished writing your article while talking to me. And it’s not that bad, if you ask me. And it illustrates your point pretty well. Now, go get your kender and have him take you to the store to look over books. Tell him I said it was okay and that you deserve it for doing so well.

Me: Thanks Muse... you rule.

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When you've got nothing to write about...

Actually, there was a point to this

Actually...I had a point to writing this week's article in this way. This "exercise" was to illustrate a point that talking to your inner muse, story creations, inner editor, etc. can help ublock as well as uncover many things about your self. I chose to write it as it would appear on the page, trying to liven up the way I do posts...

Not sure how well people got it, (had 2 editors review it and they said it was good), but it's how it came out.

/innowen

Those who can do; those who cannot post links...

One of the greatest thinker of the 20th C - Ludwig Wittgenstein - used /innowen technique to plunge the depths of his psyche. One's inner voice can also be used to relieve mental anguish as in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. (CBT.). I don't mean to be rude Michael, but I fail to see how using a fetish to clear 'writer's block' has anything to do with being creative per se.

Switching Gears

I think it's more a matter of switching gears to clear the mud. Sometimes it's the nature of handling (or playing with) a different medium. A certain notebook may have certain connotations (e.g., "last time I used this, I was interrupted by my baby son, who had just climbed out of the crib for the first time"), index cards provide "moveable" idea placement upon a table, a whiteboard challenges me to erase and do again, and so on.

But it can also do with the slowing down or quickening of one's thinking process. For example, when I type, I clear about 80 words a minute, so the sentences are as close to stream of consciousness as I get. Writing long-hand, on the other hand, has a tendancy to make me reflect upon the words and sentences as I write them down. This results in completely different writing for me.

And then there's ritual. Remember all the people who took strange little tokens, including furry animals, pictures and charms into their exams? Same sort of effect. The most prolific time of writing in my life started each evening by climbing on the ledge of a seventh-story window to suck in air, taking a shot of brandy, and slamming all my typewriter keys down at the same time. Then the words flowed....

Just gotta clear the mud, somehow. It's rarely an exercise in logic, and the psychology could be dubious at best. ;-)

That being said, innowen's stated technique here has also done wonders for me in the past.

all my best,
dj