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The Elusive Muse

I once read that writers can only call themselves writers if they write every day. And, at once, my inner child started protesting. Most of it was immature and childish babble about how I didn't WANT to write every day. And I was too BUSY to make that kind of commitment. And, then of course I realized without commitment dreams stayed just that; dreams. Nobody creates anything without action. So, what is a writer to do if the Muse has proven elusive? Well, journaling is a good start. But, it doesn't have to be limited to journaling.

Use the power of the media. One of my favorite things to do is take a bunch of old magazines and cut pictures out. Yes, this seems childish but it frees your mind to make its own connections. Write what comes to mind when you look at these pictures. Do they bring up memories? What kind of adjectives would you use to describe those pictures? For example, does a apple bring to mind words like juicy, tart, sweet?

Write "found" poetry. I love found poetry. The idea is to use random words collected from song lyrics, magazines, postcards, even newspapers. Arrange the words until you come up with your own sentences. Remember, this is only a starting point. You don't have to get stuck with your first outcome. Just be very, very careful not to plagiarize. Make sure whatever you use from original sources is put in parenthesis.

Avoid laziness. Designate an area for your notebooks and other tools of the trade. Write something every day. My favorite little trick was from a published author who said her goal was to write one paragraph a day. If she wrote more, great! But, having a reasonable goal allows you to avoid burnout and feeling overwhelmed. So, go out and write and write and write.



Linda C.

Your Resident Writing Expert