I’ve been a writer for most of my life, and over time, I’ve learned what I have to have to get my writing muse to step out from wherever it is she lives when she’s not filling my head. Writer’s block? Feed your muse what she needs! Here’s what my muse needs to come up with interesting plots, fully developed characters and unique settings!
- A beverage. I take lots of sips while I’m thinking. Sipping fills in the gaps between the words and sentences while I think about what comes next. (And I mean water, tea, coffee, soda or even ginger beer. Non-alcoholic and sugar-free.)
- Quiet – or semi-quiet. As a mom and a grandmother, I’m used to background noise. Life is seldom without it. But I have learned over time to turn down the volume (in my head) of whatever might be going on around me and transform it into a type of white noise. Try to develop this technique – it’s very useful when writing (and also when you’re trying to grab a nap in the middle of family chaos or a TV sporting event!)
- A window. My habit of glancing out the window started when I was a child. Lots of windows in my home, and lots of imaginings going on. It’s not exactly that I don’t see what’s really outside the window, it’s more that I use it as a backdrop for whatever I want to imagine, and eventually write. I look away from the computer screen, or the paper, and let my imagination take over.
- A pen/pencil and paper or a computer keyboard. I’m not picky anymore. Early on, I thought I had to write everything out longhand. And there are advantages to doing this. You tend to think more carefully about the words you write because of the time it takes to write them. However, when I was working for a newspaper, I had no choice but to type everything out. Quickly, I saw the advantage of letting your fingers fly in a speed more like you think. Sure, you might need to go back and edit later, but at least you’ve got everything down and not made the sometimes fatal mistake of self-editing your ‘voice’ out of the piece you are writing.
As I write this, I think of the fifth thing that is often required to get my muse on the same page with me. Can you guess what it is? Chocolate! The dark variety is especially potent, in fact, I’ve heard it said that a square of dark chocolate before bed will guarantee vivid dreams. I think it guarantees vivid writing, too.
Maybe my suggestions will feed your muse, too. But if not, think hard about what YOUR muse needs to help your creativity thrive!
(Boomer Bites continues this Thursday with more B words. Next Tuesday, I’ll be blogging about a radio interview I am scheduled to do that very day. Boomer Bite C words will begin next Thursday!)