A reclusive muse, (A.K.A. a block in creativity) can cause a block in cash flow and derail your goals.
No output means no income. No income can cause stress, which in turn can cause your muse to become even more resistant.
If you’re on deadline with editors, publishers, or clients, it can become further problematic.
Which is why a strategic approach can improve your productivity, your outlook and your bottom line.
But before we address muse management, let’s examine some of the most common reasons it can abandon us when most needed:
6 COMMON REASONS FOR A LACK OF INSPIRATION OR CREATIVITY
- Deadline pressure
- The pressure of expectations
- Fear (of failure or success)
- Lack of focus
I folded under pressure.
Luckily, with prayer, I was able to focus (after about 20 minutes of staring at that ticking clock) and I passed the test.
Once I regrouped and lost my fears, I was able to gain perspective.
And you can too.
With this in mind, here are 5 practices and principles to “make nice” with your muse and become more productive in 2017.
1. Try a Change of Scenery.
If you’re used to working from home, why not tote your laptop or journal to the local library, coffee shop, or park? Bird watching, star gazing, or simply engaging in conversations with others can often provide information and inspiration for that next chapter of your novel, or next blog post.
Adult coloring books are all the rage. If you’re thinking that they’re just for kids, retrain your brain. According to Craig Sawchuk, a clinical psychologist at Mayo Clinic: “Coloring can help slow down heart rate and respiration, loosen muscles and stimulate the brain.” Many psychologists even suggest coloring as an alternative to meditation.
In 2015, an estimated 12 million adult coloring books were sold in the United States.
3. Take a Break.
That’s right. Though this may seem counter-productive it actually works. Scheduling some “down time” helps to relax the mind, rejuvenate the spirit, and “unplug.” Make it a part of your regular routine to break the monotony and to break through to new levels in your writing.
4. Dabble With Creative Prompts.
Creative prompts serve to jump-start the brain, ignite the imagination, and get those creative juices flowing. They usually consist of 1-4 opening lines, and are also commonly used in creative contests as story starters.
Here are a few sites you’ll want to check out to get going and to give you some practice.
When we open a book, we open ourselves to a world of possibilities. Reading helps to broaden our perspective, expand our knowledge base, hone our craft, develop our voice, escape, and understand the needs of an audience.
To quote Dr. Seuss: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
The next time you’re stuck, simply reach for that book on your night stand or coffee table, and your muse will appear before you know it.
Though writing is said to be a solitary profession, you don’t have to go it alone. Let your muse inform, engage and guide you.
Follow these five timely tips for greater progress, peace and productivity in the months ahead.
Your turn. Thoughts?
How do you make nice with your muse when you're creatively stuck?
Let's share ideas here.