I’ve been really struggling to write recently (what else is new, amirite?). Between doing very few things because of COVID, working on other projects, and preferring to spend all of my free time playing video games, writing for my blog has just not been at the top of my to do list. While I do try to give myself grace for periods where I’m not writing, it has become more and more apparent to me recently that I want to make it a point to be more connected to my writing.
I was having a conversation with my life coach a few weeks ago where I was filling out the Wheel of Life. For anyone who hasn’t done the Wheel of Life exercise, you’re given 8 aspects of life and asked to rate them on a scale of 1-10. This can help you compare how you feel about different facets of your life and see where you are satisfied and you are not. “Spirituality” has always been a facet that I give a high rating. Between my self-awareness, my yoga practice, and my writing, I am usually very in tune with myself and my intuition. This time around, I couldn’t even give that facet of my life a rating.
I was so out of sync with my spirituality that I couldn’t even assess how that aspect of my life was going. For someone who is typically very in tune, I found this to be unsettling. As per usual, I have a dangerous propensity to overcorrect. I believe that my trying to keep myself from having “buyer’s remorse” and feeling imposter syndrome at my new job had caused me to cut off the sensitive side of myself nearly entirely. Not to mention that I haven’t been able to regularly practice yoga in months.
Unsatisfied with this, I began brainstorming ways to become more connected. I started filling out “The Desire Map” and wrote that one of my core desires was to feel connected to “The Muse.” I woke up one morning and told Dan, “I need to find The Muse again.” As someone who has a flair for the dramatic, a love for the Disney movie Hercules, and was once in a sorority, I frequently call my creativity “The Muse.” It’s like a spiritual connection to the universe that I tap into when I’m particularly inspired. I started brainstorming how I could feel connected again.
Below is the list of different types of techniques that I typically use to find “The Muse” as well as exact examples of ways that I apply those different techniques.
Something Relaxing: Massages
I know that massages are not for everyone, but I absolutely love them. I have never minded people in my personal space, and I am a hugely affectionate person, so massages have never bothered me and have been something that I can turn to when I need some relaxation. Since “relaxed” is a state that I very rarely enter, when I am on the massage table, I come up with so many ideas! So many ideas, in fact, that I spend the rest of the massage so focused on remembering my ideas that I don’t exactly stay relaxed, but oh well! At least I was relaxed long enough to get some ideas!
Something Involving Movement: Yoga
It’s no secret that I absolutely love yoga. It’s a fitness practice that doesn’t involve too much intense cardio and encourages relaxation and connecting with yourself. It’s right up my alley! I am so thrilled that my yoga studio is now doing some weekly in-person classes so that I can get back to practicing more regularly. We have to wear masks while we practice, but that is totally fine by me! As long as I’m yoga-ing, I’m happy. Yoga has always been something that helps me to generate creative ideas, so it’s never particularly surprising when I have a creative drought and I haven’t been doing yoga. I finally returned to the studio a few weeks ago, and even that first class brought an onslaught of creative ideas (my post about COVID and my relationship with food being one of them). At the beginning of the class, when we all chose our intentions for our practice, I chose the intention of “The Muse” and followed my instructor’s advice of putting “I am…” in front of my intention making it: “I am the Muse.” How can you not come up with ideas when meditating on such a strong intention?!
Something that Will Actively Generate New Stories: Just...You Know, Do a Thing
With COVID (and depression) it can be hard to get out of the house and have things to do, however going on random misadventures really helps to generate ideas. From new video games to virtual escape rooms to job hunting, just doing something out of the ordinary can help the ideas flow. Even if I’m doing a new adventure from the comfort of my own home, at least the different activities will give me something to write about.
Something that Switches up My Writing Approach: There’s an App for That
When I’m particularly uninspired, haven’t written in a while, and still need to write a blog post, I will write in even the least convenient places. Like in the passenger’s seat of Dan’s car while he’s driving, even if it gives me motion sickness! Or in my bed in the morning at an angle that makes me feel queasy! I’m sure that I’m not the only blogger that will risk nausea chasing The Muse. In situations such as these, I’m often using my phone to write instead of my laptop. This is a really excellent way to get writing done, especially in a pinch, because this slight change in the way that I usually write (on a phone instead of on a laptop) simply helps me to think differently. It might seem like a silly little change, but when staring at your laptop is getting you nowhere, what do you have to lose?
Something that Displaces Me: Get Outta Town!
Something not quite as slight -- I’ve found that just getting out of town for a bit can really get those creative juices flowing. The last time that Dan and I went on vacation, I spent every possible moment in the hotel room writing. This sometimes meant that Dan had to bring meals back for me because I just couldn’t step away from my laptop to go out and eat. The Muse was flowing through me! I couldn’t stop her! The moral of this story, of course is: anything that gets you out of your normal routine can lead to inspiration, big or small. But sometimes, getting away from everyday life and experiencing different cultures and different places can really get some new ideas going.
Those are the techniques that I have so far! I’d love to hear which of these work for you and which others you have! May The Muse ever bless you with her divine presence!
Originally posted on my personal blog at http://buffalosauceeverywhere.com/2021/03/17/chasing-the-muse/
Image by Ximenari from Pixabay.