Last week, I led Writing in the Zone course participants through a guided visualization to “meet their writing Muse.” I think of the Muse as the creative aspect of ourselves, that inner source of creativity that just “knows things.” Your Muse knows from deep inside your heart and soul, beyond all the constraints and perceived limitations of the ego. I love this work with the inner Muse. I love it for its sometimes playful, sometimes surprising, always wise counsel.
Several people wrote me after the call to share the clarity, insights and shifts that came from connecting with their writing Muse. The Muse often gives us answers symbolically. Sometimes there are layers of meaning we can only appreciate when we sit quietly with the images awhile–or journal about them.
It was like that for Karin, who wrote,
Yes, I have a muse now (first one). It is a little yellow bumble bee. I was very annoyed at first to find a little yellow bee….not what I wanted or expected….but I remembered to suspend judgement and once I did everything shifted. Now I can see that my muse is totally perfect for me. Buzzing with creativity, stinging intention, adding sweetness to the world, flying solo but being deeply connected to community (so me)….”
Your writing Muse doesn’t always show up the way you might expect or even want, but if you allow the wisdom of the Muse to rise up from within, you will probably soon enjoy the symbolism. I know I felt disappointed when my Muse showed up as just light. I mean, how amorphous can you get? I wanted a fairy or angel or someone specific. But then I thought, “Light? That’s pretty cool.’ And suddenly, it was. My Muse has since shown up as a wise woman whose clothes sometimes whirl into mesmerizing patterns that take me to other dimensions—and she makes a mean bowl of alphabet soup—perfect for a writer, yes?
Karin brought up the other big questions that come from working with the writing Muse—in a nutshell: “Now What?”
What do I do now that I have a muse? How do I connect with my muse? Just when I am stuck? Are there any rituals for connecting?”
Firstly, I suggest your connect with your Muse every single time your write. It can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, or putting on your special writing sweater/jacket/hat/shoes/scarf/goggles.
My Writing in the Zone process is, at its essence, a writing ritual you develop for yourself to consistently reach that place of flow with your writing. As part of my 5 steps for Writing in the Zone, step 3 is to consciously connect with your writing Muse (all 5 steps are in the post indicated). There are infinite ways to do this. I suggest you experiment and find out what works best. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Say, “I now connect with my Muse to…” Then read your vision statement aloud or state your intention for your writing project.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting across from your writing Muse. Notice what you observe about your Muse. You can ask questions of your writing Muse and receive answers.
- Light a candle and imagine that, as you do this, you are connecting more deeply with your Muse.
- Before writing, do something that puts you into a create space–run, walk in nature, dance, sing, listen to music, read a poem–and as you do, know that you are connecting with your Muse.
Of course, when you are stuck, it’s also helpful to ask your writing Muse for help. That’s where the above exercise about asking questions comes in handy. You can also write your questions with your dominant hand and have your Muse answer when you write with your non-dominant hand.
And—this is important—remember to thank your writing Muse when you are done!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with your Muse, one of my favorite topics:
How do you connect with your Muse? How does your Muse show up for you? What insights has your writing Muse provided about your writing or your book? What challenges have you had with connecting with your writing Muse?