Most of us as creatives had experienced those stretches of time when the muse appears to have left the building. And we’re not really sure how to get her back.
It’s really common for writers who feel like they have lost their inspiration to be creatively blocked, a term that Julia Cameron coined as the basis for her book The Artist’s Way. And rather than getting your muse to come visit you, it’s really about finding your way back to your muse which is just a fancy name for your creativity.
That’s right—the muse is not external. It’s already inside of us.
But we put all this pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect, to demand that our creativity show up when we summon it. It can be overwhelming—and it can stifle the very thing we’re trying to do. Then we beat ourselves up when good ideas don’t just strike us like a lightening bolt.
Trust me, it’s not going to if we try to force it. That’s not the way to coax your creativity back to life. It’s silencing it even more.
It’s not the muse, that’s vanished, it’s us. We’re the ones that are blocking it. So we have to get really quiet and urge her to come back.
So how do we do that? Here are four ways to summon the muse back:
Meditate. I know, I’ve said it before, but it’s still true. Tuning into yourself and tuning out of the frequencies of everyone and everything else will help you tap back into that creative voice. That’s a Julia Cameron quote that I have written down near my desk: Writing is about getting something down, not thinking something up. Being in touch with the muse, with our creative selves, means we’re channeling the words—we don’t actually have to put in all this energy to think them up.
Take action. Finding the muse is all about taking action. Waiting for the muse is passive. And passive action doesn’t get us what we want. The simple act of sitting at your desk and writing one sentence—even one word—will start to get the creative juices flowing.
Keep it casual. When you keep it casual, you keep it possible. Taking the pressure off our creative endeavors makes it easier to find the joy in them, which opens up space for more to come through. Even better, make it fun!
Save the drama for the page. How many times have we gotten wrapped up in whatever is going on in our life and use that as a completely paralyzing excuse to not be creative at all? I used to do it all the time. I still do. But when you can channel all of that frustration and negativity and stress right onto the page, it’s lighting that creative fire.
I have to give you an example here. I was involved in this relationship and it was ending and something happened that really pissed me off. I was telling one of my friends about what had happened and my reaction to it—I had completely lost my BLEEP. So I was telling her about my meltdown over text, and she wrote back with a laughing face and said:
I’m sorry to laugh, but this sounds like a scene from a book.
And I realized—she was so right. So I wrote it as a scene in the book I was working on at the time—2000 words that day. The moral of the story: Don’t let the drama distract you. Do something with it. And maybe a character will be born out of it. Or maybe a scene will be born. And maybe a whole idea for something will be born. Just get it down.
There you have it—the next time you’re feeling muse-less, try one (or all) of these and you should be back in business. Stop by Instagram and tell me which one worked the best for you!