Do you have a muse? Do you know what a muse is? You see, I do have a muse. My muse is not a she though. My muse is most likely a fluid identity, an androgynous, incredibly stylish being who smokes long cigarettes and drinks straight scotch, flirting with everything that moves in a grubby pub in Soho.
My muse knows their talent, I can see them drafting ideas upon ideas in a Moleskine whilst drinking strong coffees. Whenever they fancy, they let me have a peek, they tease me with great titles and compelling concepts.
Not every writer goes to such lengths to describe their muse, yet I come from that ilk of writers with a peculiar visionary brain.
Just like we are instructed to name the Negative Nancy who whispers in our ears, I find that personifying my muse allows me to truly honour them. It also showed me the way to truly serve it at its best.
The muse does not work around your office hours
The muse likes to dispense great ideas around their very own time frame. Yet, they are animals of habit, so it’s very easy to spot a pattern. We live in a world where we try to make everything fit around us and our schedule. Yet most writers allow their own muse to dictate the best time to be creative. At times, that will require us sacrificing the lie-ins or the early nights to make the most of the creative surge. Most of us have been writing for a long time now, and are fully aware of when, in an ideal world, we’d love to sit down and write.
Allowing us to create a schedule that makes time for that practice keeps our muse happy, and our writing muscle in check.
The muse loves to be at the centre of attention
One of my favourite bits of research from my first book, Make an Impact, was related to a study on why our best ideas come to us in the shower.
This is why being in an environment free of distractions and external stimuli, our ideas seem to pop – also one of the reasons why some of our best ideas seem to pop up in the middle of the night. To find your MOJO back, you need to make sure you can hear your muse’s voice cut through the noise.
The muse wants to be worshipped
Let’s talk about your writing space – and this does not simply refer to your desk. I produce most of my drafts on the go (going back to points one and two, writing on the go is the best way for me to be focused and alert, ideally in the morning before I interact with anyone). Similarly, I like to be able to write research-based pieces at my desk, where I can flick through a bank of articles.
However, I did most (and my best) book writing in cafes since the change of scenery helped me to stay focused. I find that I adapt my location and modus operandi depending on what I am looking to write. I do believe this is incredibly valuable for most writers, yet extremely important for writers who also juggle multiple businesses.
How I strive to talk to my muse daily
As I said before, I constantly feel like my muse is not talking to me, but at me. Maybe I am the only one to have a slightly arrogant muse, however, I find most writers I talk to use strategies very similar to the ones I outlined to keep their muse alive and kicking.
Take time to find what works best to reignite the creative spark, and make it a priority, just as much as you prioritise the time you dedicate to your writing.