In my last post, we discussed the existence of the muse. This week … we’ll go on a search for the muse!
For each of us, the muse is different. We all have our times when our muse delivers a stream of subconsciousness that makes us cry tears of joy when we finish a chapter. There is no right or wrong when it comes to the muse. It can be living or inanimate. It could be a place, a person, a process or ritual, an activity or music. Sometimes it just shows up and we don’t know how or where it came from.
The key is finding it, placing it “on demand” or maintaining the connection.
Here’s the rub. Finding your muse is not a search for a thing or place. It’s not turning over stones until you say, “Aha! There you are!” It’s quite the opposite.
It all starts within. We have to look inside and find out what inspires us. Reflection, meditation, and other tools will help you self-examine. Ask the questions and achieve a better understanding of who we are and what is our purpose.
Keep in mind, the muse is not always who or what we want it to be. It might be inspirational, motivational, or create those goose bumps when you know you’re in the flow. For others it might be a very dark place. It might be ugly, immoral or even outright scary.
To help you get started in this process — locating and maintaining your muse — I’ll throw out some questions that you need to answer by looking deep inside. There are no right or wrong answers and your answers don’t have to be worldly. They just have to be honest. Brutally honest. Don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that your writing is altruistic when deep inside, you want to be rich and famous. Take moment and write down the real answers to these questions:
- What keeps you focused on your goals?
- What makes you feel alive?
- What drives you?
- What gets you completely jazzed?
- What is really important to you?
- What things would you never compromise in life?
Now, look at your answers. The real answers. Not the answers you would post in a Facebook group. Examine the answers and ask the question “Is this what I’m telling my subconscious mind?” Once your conscious and unconscious mind are in agreement, things happen. Good or bad. One of the most important tasks of the unconscious mind it making sure that your outside world matches your inner unconscious thoughts. And, that’s powerful.
What does all this have to do with your muse? Everything. Your brain handles about 90,000 thoughts per day. Guess what, about 96% of those thoughts are the same thoughts you had yesterday. Having trouble finding your muse? Change your thinking.
It takes work, but you have absolute power over your thoughts and beliefs. And, it can change in a moment. Have you ever had those days where you try to write and nothing happens? Nothing seems to be working. The feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and even anger start to creep into your mind. It becomes a vicious cycle. “I’ve got to get another 2,000 words today,” you scream.
STOP! Don’t do it.
Take a break, whether it’s a few hours or a few days. Trust me, the drivel that comes out when you are not in the flow will cost you more time and energy during editing and revisions. Work on yourself and your underlying emotions. Set the writing aside and get to the root of the problem. Your muse is sitting in your unconscious mind waiting to get to work. You just have a bunch of crap in the way.
Get back to the basics. Ask yourself the above questions all over again. Work with whatever methods help you center yourself. Send the right type of thoughts to your unconscious mind and the gates will open. Your muse wants to work. With the proper practice, training and thoughts, you can have your muse at your beckon call.