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Here’s a Little Trick to Keep Your Muse Happy

photo: Jessica Cross on flickr

photo: Jessica Cross on flickr

How do you get your inspiration?

By reading your favorite books or listening to your favorite music? By spending time in nature? Or does your inspiration come randomly, out of the blue?

Or maybe you think you’re the kind of person who doesn’t get inspired, someone who falls outside the bounds of creativity. For those people, I would remind you that we’re all creative beings by nature. We are all made of Divine substance, and we are continually creating our lives as emanations of the eternal life force – call it Spirit or the Universe or That Which Cannot Be Named.

So there.

But what about this muse business?

The word “muse” brings to mind a flowing, fairy-like person with ribbons in her hair and a tendency to speak in rhyme. She’s fickle and flaky and a bit pretentious. If she ordered a drink from Starbuck’s, it would be a Venti Double Soy Caramel Macciato, and she’d send it back because she’s sure you used milk instead of soy.

cuppa cuppa

In other words, she’s flighty. You can’t depend on her.

When I first started writing fiction, this was how I saw my muse. I was thirty-nine years old when the writing bug hit me, and my inspiration often felt as random and fickle as a Macciato-guzzling fairy.

I was continually worrying that my ideas were going to dry up, or that I was going to suddenly tire of writing. It was an angsty time in my life. In fact, you could say that in many ways I resembled our flaky caffeine-addict friend. I was fickle and unpredictable in how I responded to the creative energy flowing through me.

Until I had an idea.

One day, before I started my morning writing session, I closed my eyes and asked for Help. Specifically, I asked my angels and spirit guides to guide me in my writing for the day. Then I thanked them, opened my eyes, and started writing.

photo: Ofek Sitbon on flickr

photo: Ofek Sitbon on flickr

If at any point I became stuck, or felt at a loss about what direction to take, I would close my eyes and ask for Help again.

This simple practice totally changed how I felt about my writing.

For one thing, it reminded me that my inspiration and ideas can never “dry up.” I am one with a Creative Source that never ends.

It also reminded me to ask for Help in every area of my life. Help is always there, I just have to remember to open up to it.

photo: Beshef on flickr

photo: Beshef on flickr

This practice also humbled me. Yes, it is my name on the books I’ve written and on the top of this blog. But it’s not just me who’s doing the writing.

I’m not alone when I write, and the more I acknowledge this, the richer my creative process becomes.

In fact, I would venture to say it wasn’t “my” idea to start the practice of asking for Help in the first place. It was a nudge from those creative helpers, encouraging me to play with them.

Some of you are probably rolling your eyes about now. Ask my angels for help?! Isn’t that a little too 18th century?!

angel in the sky

To those folks, I would say that creative help can come in many forms. You can ask for assistance in number of ways – opening to the help available from loved ones who have passed, for example. Or your Higher Power in general, without getting into specific entities.

Whatever works for you is what works!

And for those of you who still think you’re not creative, here’s a thought:

Ask for Help in discovering in your creativity. Ask the Divine to introduce you to your muse.

Unless she comes with a Venti Double Soy Caramel Macciato.

In that case, you might want to ask again.

drunk muse

How do you relate to your muse? Where do you get your inspiration?

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12 Responses to Here’s a Little Trick to Keep Your Muse Happy

  1. Karen April 23, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    I love writing, so my muse likes to hang out with me in those good feelings, I reckon.

    When working on assignment over the years, though, sometmes I’d feel nervous and things wouldn’t flow as readily. Then I’d envision myself finished with my writing project and feeling so good. Next, I’d step away from it all for a while and do something else. When I’d return later, ideas would rear their lovely heads.

    As with everything in life, as we improve our feeling place, our desires find us.

    • Z Egloff April 23, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      Hi Karen!

      I love this. When we’re open and happy, all kinds of awe-some things can find us.

      I do something similar these days, where I envision myself having finished whatever event/challenge I have coming up, and I’m saying, “Yes!”. I imagine myself doing a little happy dance, and being thrilled that the event/challenge went so much better than I could ever imagine. Like your process, it allows everything to flow. Good stuff. :)


  2. Norma April 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    My muse is when a sit down to sketch and then paint my watercolors. Portraits of People an animals are my passion. I do still life, landscapes etc. to learn to grow with other subjects.I always go back to my heart, people and animals.I started about 7 years ago and God winks got me into painting and I love being really good at something.I am blessed,

    • Z Egloff April 24, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Hi Norma,

      I’ve always had great appreciation for people who can paint. It sounds like a beautiful practice for you – and it’s fun being really good at something. Especially when God’s in on it too! 😉


  3. michael frank April 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Is it ok if my muse is a “he”…….There have been people in life who have called me a “harlequin”…..still not quite sure of those implications, so I let my imagination run wild with it……..:))

    • Z Egloff April 24, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Hi Michael,

      Muses are probably beyond gender – it might bother them to be tied down. For whatever reason, my initial view of mine was as a “she,” but now I see the muse energy as beyond male or female. I like your attitude – take on the “harlequin” and have fun with it! :)


  4. Jill April 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Hi Z, very good message. Regarding writing, I have found the same thing—almost exactly as you describe it—and can feel the inspiration for my writing coming through in this way. If I don’t, I know I’m just not plugged in.

    I’ve also found that there’s no forcing a subject or timing. I might want to write about something that I still need to learn about or experience more fully.The guidance will take me by the hand and walk me through the lesson, send a dream, etc. Only then do the words follow. It’s cool stuff, and quite reliable.


    • Z Egloff April 24, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      Hi Jill!

      I agree with you about timing. I find that I just “feel” my way into what I’m supposed to write about next. Like you, the guidance comes first, and the words follow. The more I do this, the more I see this creative process as something that brings me closer and closer to my awareness of the Divine. And of myself as Divine. Pretty cool. And reliable too, like you say! :)


  5. Jo Lauer April 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Hi Z, love that you too used to wonder if your creativity was going to dry up. Occasionally, mine takes a little vacation (and leaves me home to work and pay the bills), but it always returns.

    My muses (I think there are different ones for writing and composing) tend to jump out at me in the shower, or while I’m driving, or wake me from sleep, or intrude in the middle of a conversation with someone (hopefully a friend who understands these things), and I have to dry off, pull over, get up, excuse myself–depending on the situation, and go jot down notes so I don’t forget.

    Sometimes I think it’s my host of honored ancestors taking on muse-like forms, sometimes I’m convinced it’s a tricky coyote or raven, just beyond my view. Whatever it is, I love it, I count on it, I am its expression in the world, and I’m filled with gratitude.

    Thanks for starting this conversation.

    • Z Egloff April 24, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Hi Jo,

      Yes! I too get hit with ideas in the shower, while I’m trying to sleep and while I’m driving. I wonder if it’s because my mind can be “on hold” in those moments, and that allows the muse to sneak in. I have little note pads all over the place, just to catch the ideas. (Though I don’t have a note pad in the shower. Not sure how that would work.) What’s also cool is that the more I open to this stuff, the more it flows in. I heard something similar about intuition – the more you start to listen to it, the more it starts to talk to you. Very cool. :)


  6. Jerrine April 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    I used to threaten my muse. “If I can’t write I will write about not writing!”
    Now after realizing she eats paper with ink on it and she has a large appetite, she pushes me around! “Stop that and go write! Right now!”

    I love painting and drawing and my focus has shifted over the years. The one thing that remains constant is poetry. My muse is demanding, but I like her like that. Water, baths, showers, ocean, swimming all excite my muse. she’s not fond of TV.

    • Z Egloff April 26, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      Hi Jerrine,

      I love to hear about how the muse manifests for different people. My muse is also a fan of water – especially showers. I think she likes to visit me there because I don’t have paper and pencil with me and I have to pay very close attention to what she’s saying in order to remember everything. I’m glad that your muse is so pushy! Have fun writing! :)


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