Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Muse Me

He he. Nice pun, right? No? Well, blame my nano-fried brain. I do want to talk about Muses today though. What is a Muse? Well, technically a Muse is a goddess daughter of Zeus who inspires the creativity of artists. But you've all heard the expression I'm sure. Finding your Muse isn't always easy to do. After all, I'm sure even goddesses are busy.

So how do you attract a Muse? Make yourself irresistible. Be the perfect artist. How do you do that?

1. Don't wait for inspiration. Inspire yourself. You can find ideas anywhere really. A good place to start is a "What if" question. What if someone stole all the color in the world? See? I just did that. Right now. You try it...

2. Surround yourself with the right environment. Don't try to squeeze in a page while balancing a toddler in one hand and a bag of groceries in the other. I'm sure it has indeed been done. But try your best to give yourself a good solid block of time dedicated solely to your art. Make your own special space. Whether that's in an office, a bedroom, outside, or at Starbucks, well, that's up to you.

3. Be a good observer. Pay attention to the people and things around you. You never know if there's a story hiding right in front of your nose. Make up a story about something that seems out of place to you. Ask a question about someone's outfit. Why is that gorgeous woman wearing frumpy clothes? Is she trying to hide something? Protect herself? Low self-esteem?

4. Be nice to yourself. That's right. Be kind to yourself, give yourself space and time. Don't beat yourself up. Don't be arrogant either though. Be gracious if you want to entice the Muse.

And if the Muse still doesn't come? Eh - frankly if you can do all these things for yourself, who needs her???


  1. Great post, Lisa! Sometimes, you just can't force it. But I love your suggestion to be observant and actively inspired. Thanks so much and good luck with NaNo!

    Marissa :)

  2. I think my biggest muse killer is stress, followed closely by procrastination. I have the time, but can sit for hours in front of the computer and do nothing because my brain is thinking about everything else BUT my stories.

  3. I apparently attract my Muse by sleeping, which is awesome because I'm a champion sleeper. Every book idea I've had has come from a dream--but none have involved sparkly vampires. :)

  4. Marissa - Thanks! Though I've been working so hard on revisions, I'm not even sure I'll actually get to Nano. I kind of wrote that before I knew... He he he.

    Christi - Make yourself type. Just type whatever, it doesn't matter what or if it sucks. But eventually something will start coming out of it.

    Kristi - I'm so jealous. My muse wakes me up for at least an hour at like four AM to do that. Like every night. Eeek. I never had insomnia before I became a writer.

  5. Inspire yourself, I love that! If I waited around for my muse I would never get anything done! I've noticed that if I start writing, he shows up.

  6. I'm with Heather, I love the "inspire yourself" tip. If I only waited for inspiration, I'd have many blank pages. Awesome stuff, Lisa!

  7. Heather - I LOVE the way you refer to your muse as a male. :D

    Julie - Aww, thanks!!

  8. If the muse doesn't turn up, start without them! So true - I find they soon catch up if I just start writing. Great post. (Haven't quite worked out what gender my muse is yet...)

  9. Great post, Lisa! #2 is especially powerful. (Ha!) But really. Being in the right environment is key. The *wrong* environment (toxic people who discourage you, especially in hopes of propping themselves up) can quickly kill one's confidence in their craft.
    And in case you're wondering, my muse is asexual, black, and oh-so-sweet (it's coffee).

  10. My muse seduces me in the shower, but she's a tease. By the time I make it to the computer she's moved on. It's a tough date, she's the girl with the dragon tattoo.

  11. Dirtywhitecandy - I'm still liking the whole male muse idea myself!!

    Sandra - thanks!! I love the coffee too, gotta have it, but I take cream in mine. ;D In case you're ever buying. And you can't let those toxic people in your head!! Ugh.

    Simon - ROFL Loved it!!!

  12. My muse is a runner. Too bad she doesn't bring pen and paper with her, too! Now that would be really helpful. ;)

  13. Stina - yeah - they haven't invented that one yet!!

  14. Ah muse! That was a sigh. Mine is a fickle little minx with an attitude and swishy hip walk. Why me? Other people get muses that sit quietly and nudge at the right places.

  15. Love it, Lisa!! I love people watching and making up their histories and their motivations. It's such fun! Good luck with your nano!

  16. awesome post! Quite honestly . . . I'm surprised that I haven't heard the play on words "A muse me" done before. I like it!!!! :0D

    I find that my muse finds me. I don't find it. I have to work and work. Sometimes it meets me. Sometimes it doesn't. I have to keep plugging along anyway.

    I wish there was a formula.

    Great post!

    Christy (via verla kay)

  17. Lee - LOL I'd totally go for the minx!

    Jemi - Thanks, Jemi! You too!

    Christy - so glad you found me and thanks for the comment! I agree - you have to keep plugging along anyway. The Muse will catch up!