“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
― Maya Angelou
As creative people, there will be times the all-powerful muse goes mute.
She’s stubborn like that. What she may tell you, is it’s time for a break.
Like searching for love in all the wrong places, often when desperately seeking writing inspiration, we seem to fall flat.
It reminds me of the time I carefully stepped into a size 12 dress, prayers to every Goddess I knew on my glossed lips it would fit. I knew full well I was a size 16 if I held my breath, but that didn’t stop me from forcing the issue.
Breath held within an inch of passing out, body arched sharply left, easing the side zipper up, one centimeter at a time; I fully zipped the dress. I was damn near hyperventilating, but I dared not allow a full breath to emerge, lest the dress explode.
I straightened my body, and the dress exploded, anyway.
You can’t force a size 16 body into a size 12 dress any easier than you can force your mind to continually spill writing inspiration at will. Unlike my body, you must feed your mind to give it what it needs.
- Read — Other people’s work, your own work, the side of a cereal box. Just read. And by read, I mean do it for pleasure. There is a time to read like a writer, but for this, I mean read because you can. You must do things for pleasure to allow your brain to release oxytocin. When you’re happy, ideas flow. Do away with the idea of the dark, depressed artist. Sure, there have been fantastic works generated because of this, but I wouldn’t suggest it as a regular life practice.
- Get some fresh air — Bonus points if you do this while you’re working at some point! I can report from personal experience; I’ve not sat before a blank page long, when out amongst nature. There’s something soothing about breathing clean air, the buzz of the surrounding environment that will clear your head and allow new ideas to take shape.
- Writing Prompts — This may seem silly, but if you’re looking for writing inspiration, a writing prompt or two may just do the trick. Even if the prompt isn’t in your wheelhouse, just getting words on the page may jumpstart your writing muscle and get you going on your own work.