April 18, 2013 by Kira Lyn Blue
There is no doubt that symbiotic relationship between a writer and their muse can be tempestuous. Muses are capricious; garrulous one day then sullen for weeks on end. That’s not writer’s block, fellow writers, you have pissed off your muse.
Fear not, you don’t have to wait for her to calm down and forgive you while writing deadlines loom and, no, you won’t have to sell your soul to win back her heart. Just remember these five tips:
Feed the Muse:
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the way to a muse’s heart is through entertainment. Give your muse what she craves: books, music, television, art, photography, comics, it doesn’t matter. Muses are voracious and will devour it all. You never know what little tidbit will plant a seed in her mind that will grow into a phenomenal idea that she won’t be able to resist sharing.
Listen to the Muse:
It’s not enough to only be open to your muse during planned writing times. Do you only converse with your spouse during specifically scheduled times? Can you imagine their response if you tried to treat them that way? “Sorry, honey. Your scheduled time to talk to me is between 7pm and 10 pm. Can you come back then?” Amplify your spouse’s response by 100, multiply it by PMS, and divide by zero = your muse’s response. You’re never getting anything from her again. Keep notebooks handy everywhere you go. You never know when the muse will speak. You get an idea as you’re drifting off to sleep, get your butt out of bed long enough to scribble it down. If you forget it come morning, your muse will not be forgiving.
Compliment the Muse:
When your muse provides a good session of writing, make sure she knows you’re pleased. Never take her for granted. If all you focus on is what is wrong with your writing, you will hurt her fragile feelings and send her into hiding, feeling unappreciated. Can you say Writer’s Block?
Heed the Muse:
If the muse starts prodding you with new ideas while you’re deep in the midst of another project, do NOT dismiss them! Arguments about deadlines and time constraints for your current project will be about as effective on your muse as trying to derail a train with a toothpick. Just accept that she knows more about creativity than you do and take the time to hear her out, even if it’s only to scribble down some notes to come back to later. You never know what a quick break to work on a new idea will reveal and it may just give you fresh eyes and a happier, more talkative muse when you return to the original project.
Challenge the Muse:
If all else fails make her read a terrible book or watch the lowest rated movie on Netflix you can find. Muses, vain creatures that they are, secretly love really crappy entertainment because provides them the opportunity to say, “WTH was that? I could do sooooo much better!” Sometimes, they’ll even prove it.
Make no mistake, muses are needy, but they only give as much as they receive. So, heed my advice and you won’t have to spend months at a time grovelling for her to return. Flowers don’t work on muses, by the way. Although they do seem partial to wine and chocolate.