I was recently reminded of how important it is to FEED THE MUSE.
When your creative gas tank is on Empty and you simply cannot write another word without thinking it’s crap, it’s time to step back (if possible) from the turn and burn of manuscript drafting or editing and take just a wee bit of time to absorb something you love outside of writing. For some people it’s reading, painting, music, drawing. For me it’s movies, television, and action/adventure novels.
It’s obvious when my muse is starving or even a little peckish. He becomes a grumpy cuss that sits on his jean clad ass and won’t lift a finger to help me. He will, however, flip me the bird. He’ll continue to snark and snarl until I give him something he can sink his teeth into. My muse prefers stimulation that contains some, if not all, of the following:
1. Somebody, somewhere goes on a trip or adventure, instigates shenanigans, fights, blows something up, commits espionage, kidnaps, extorts, double crosses, plots, and makes shiz happen.
2. Good guys may or may not show up and fight/shoot /run around/stab/connive/create havoc/drive fast/blow things up as well.
3. Somebody, somewhere has the hots for someone else. It’s mutual, it’s romantic, and it sizzles between them until I’m yelling “OMG PLEASE HOOK UP ALREADY!” at the screen.
4. I love it if good conquers evil, but it’s not an absolute must. Even if good gets kicked in the teeth a lot (see Spartacus and Game of Thrones), my muse is happy as long as there’s hope.
I have a few regular “Go Tos” – some already repped above, others: The Mechanic, Snatch, The Departed, all Marvel movies, whatever Joss Whedon or Christopher Nolan touch…you get the idea. If I’m low on fuel, I can watch these or those like them and my muse is sated. He stops with the stoic routine, regains his still grumpy-yet-now-willing-to-overshare demeanor, and all is well in the gray matter and playing field of my mind.
What about you? What feeds your muse and creativity when writing wears it down?