Muse has a goldmine. Wordsmiths get writer’s block unnecessarily.
Every day, from the time we’re born until the day we die, our minds are bombarded with information, sensory stimulation, and our own associations created by incoming data.
What does this mean for the writer/artist? In a word, plenty. We experience this tsunami of ever-changing data. Our creative minds vacuum it in as fodder for whatever we do.
The danger lies in a lack of focus on specifics. News stories change every few minutes. A simple trip to the grocery store garners usable scenarios, characters, etc. Unless, of course, it only generates frustration, at which time some benefit is lost.
For Muse, this constant stream of information and impression is a goldmine. Like many goldmines, tapping Muse’s vein isn’t always the easiest of tasks. Ask any writer who’s been challenged on the battlefield by that nemesis of all contenders, WRITER’S BLOCK.
Here are 3 easy tricks to gain entrance to Muse’s gold mine:
- Never believe the mine is empty. If you do, you might as well hang up your hard hat. Instead, allow yourself to sit in that dark shaft of possibilities and listen. That’s all. Listen. What do you hear? Your heartbeat? A neighbor outside working in his yard? The cat in the litter box? A faint tune coming from somewhere far away?
Whatever it is that you hear, or that impresses you the most, focus on it for a few minutes. With your eyes closed and your focus locked on, take up a pen and write everything that crosses your mind during the focus. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to impress. All it needs to do is find outlet. After a few minutes of writing, you will have something unique that can provide the core of a story, a poem, a painting, a song, or an article; all because you closed your eyes and listened.
- Think back to a memory from childhood. Pick a vivid one. Close your eyes. Allow yourself to sink back into it, to feel those moments. Are you with someone? Who and why? Where are you, where did you just come from, and where are you going? What’s the conversation about, if you’re speaking with someone else? Why is this memory important to you? Did that experience color your life in a way that led to the present, and how did it influence your life? Write it down as you’re watching it in your mind. It’s your personal movie.
- Give yourself permission to stare out a window and allow your mind to float wherever it wants. Take notes of mind’s journey.
Each of these exercises asks the mind to play for a while. It’s asked to ignore the world outside your chosen parameters. Disconnecting in this way can free those impressions, personal memories, and extraneous gems of the outside world, leaving the writer/artist with a cache of usable plotting elements, characters, settings, etc.
The only limitations to these mining excavations are the ones you place on them. Play. Remember to take your hard hat.