How do you find your muse?

When you sit down to blog, or have a creative project of any kind you need to work on, how do you get yourself motivated to do it? What are your rituals or habits?

Nine times out of ten, I’m sparked by someone else’s creative project- music. Even when I’m writing on something topical, like my recent post on Jim Tressel was inspired by a song. Upon hearing the news, a theme from The Social Network (“Hand Covers Bruise”) became stuck in my head. It wasn’t until that happened that I knew how I was going to write about it. Most of my entry titles are song lyrics of some sort. Even the blog name is a song. For the longest time it was unnamed until I heard “World Wide Open” by Love and Theft and connected to it.

I’m always listening to music while writing. If there’s something that inspired me, I listen to that. If there isn’t a specific song that sparked me, I pick a mood playlist and listen to one that is close to the mood I’m in/the mood of the piece.

Most importantly, I try to not force it. If it’s not working now, it might later. Panic is not good for removing writers block. It always seems to make things worse.

When inspiration does not come, I go for a walk, go to the movie, talk to a friend, let go… The muse is bound to return again, especially if I turn my back!- Judy Collins

If all fails, and there is a deadline, I often just start writing. Sometimes I shift ideas 3 times in a paragraph. Often the end of the entry is no longer connected to the beginning. But I have chunks of writings to expand on and usually one of those chunks can come out quite well.

Other than that,  I don’t have any writing rituals. I write anywhere, at anytime.

Outside of writing, my creative ventures usually fall into fiber arts- specifically knitting.

When I knit, I’m inspired by other pieces. It’s not that I want to copy them exactly; I usually interpret them the way that I see it. It may be a color choice, or changing the drape of the fabric, or the fit. Even when I follow a pattern, I often make a tweak here or there because it’s what I’m looking for. That’s the brilliance of making your own things. You can adjust them so they’re perfect for you.



Filed under PostAWeek

2 responses to “Inspiration

  1. Those are definitely some good questions, but I agree with most of the things you said.
    Listening to music can be a great help while writing, but it also depends on my mood. Sometimes I need music to be able to focus what I’m writing, or else the words won’t even come. Other times, I can’t write without absolute silence. It’s odd how that works, but I just go with it.
    Another thing I agree with you on is not forcing yourself to write. Whenever I try to do that, my inspiration either ends up shutting down completely, or I end up glad I typed it on my laptop instead of wasting perfectly good paper. If inspiration avoids me, I tend to just take a step back and relax – watch some movies, read a book, play a game. Anything to stray away from trying to write.

    • jesslyn8706

      It’s funny how the brain works isn’t it. I almost always need music, otherwise I start to get too distracted. Most of the time, it’s a selection from my television/movie score collection. No words but lots of emotions.
      One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was Power of the Pen in Jr. High. You got a prompt and had to write a fictional story in 45 minutes (I think…I don’t remember the time limit. Other than it was never enough.) I would get so anxious and worked up if I couldn’t come up with anything and it just made it worse. I wish I could have just walked away. That’s where I picked up the habit of just writing and hoping something workable came out.

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