Do you have a muse? What is one? I always think of that movie, The Muse, with Albert Brooks as a screenwriter who gets a muse in the shape of Sharon Stone. Could I have mine in the shape of Gerard Butler? Anyway, basically a â€˜museâ€™ came from the Greek god Zeus and inspired creativity. Well, I donâ€™t believe in muses. Hereâ€™s my take on the writing muse.
First of all, weâ€™re all born with a creative streak because weâ€™re made in the image of God and He is the creator of all things. â€œIn the beginning, God createdâ€¦â€ And thatâ€™s exactly what we do. We create. Now, sometimes like our gluteus maximus, our creativity muscle gets laxâ€¦flabbyâ€¦and out of shape. So give your creativity a workout, which simply translatesâ€”exercise it! Now, Iâ€™m sure there are writing exercises or creativity exercises that can help. Whole books have been written about that subject, so if you need help in this arena, do that. But you can also simply practice your writing every day which will begin to shape up that backsideâ€¦oops, different muscle.
Now what would happen if you worked out all the time but didnâ€™t take time to eat? Or you only ate chips and chocolate? Well, your muscles would begin to shrivel, right? Your muscles need good nutrition. In much the same way, you need to feed your creativity. Everybody is different in this area, so figure out what works for you and do it. Donâ€™t skimp. Some people need to watch a sunset and that feeds their soul. Others need to hike in the mountains. Others need to read good books or listen to good music. Figure out what feeds your creativity and give your writing a break occasionally to feed it and nourish it.
Now, you might run into this problem that I experienced. In 2000, I was supposed to write a proposal for a connected story idea with three other authors. No problem. After all, Iâ€™d written 12 books for Harlequin/Silhouette. But suddenly, the well of my creativity ran completely dry. Or so I thought. I couldnâ€™t think of a romance story to save my career. Anxious and worried, I wondered if my career was suddenly over. I finally had to call my editor and tell her to ask someone else to contribute. Was I suffering what some people call â€˜burn out?â€™ No. The reason I know this is because I had other ideas. I was just needing to stretch my writing wings and fly in a new direction.
So remember, muses donâ€™t exist. Writers write. We create. We were made to do so. But you do have to feed your creativity and practice it on a daily basis. So when you sit down to work (and yes, it is work) your creativity muscle is ready to get busy.
â€˜Leanna Ellis takes a back seat to no one,â€™ says Debbie Macomber. But Leanna knows God is in the driverâ€™s seat as she taxies her two children to and from all their activities, chases her menagerie of pets in and out â€¦ in and out …, tracks down what to cook for dinner (or where to order takeout), and traverse the hills and dales of this writing career. Winner of the National Readers Choice Award, Leanna writes quirky womenâ€™s fiction with a splash of romance. Descended from a long line of southerners and patriots, she lives with her family in Texas.
Candace Calvert says
Well said, Leanna. I completely agree. A couple of years ago I took “The Writers Way” workshop. (Julia Cameron) Its premise was that we are made creative by the Creator–to give it back to His glory. Wonderful! The course encouraged indulging your “inner child artist” to nurture creativity, and insisted upon “play dates” to refill the creative well. One of the best classes I’ve taken. No muses were mentioned. 😉 Thank you for your take on this.
Thanks for stopping by, Candace! I’ve read Julia Cameron’s book ‘The Artist’s Way’ which I think is similar. Enjoyable for sure.
Liz Johnson says
Leanna, can I have a muse in the same of Gerard Butler too? 🙂 Well-said. Thanks for sharing.