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Stephanie Meyers hadn’t planned on a “meet your creative muse” meditation. In fact, we got on Zoom to shoot a quick video for my forthcoming book, The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day.
After we shot the video, Stephanie confessed that she didn’t know what to do about a recent problem: her creative muse kept waking her at 1 am. I didn’t have an answer either. Usually, the inner muse wakes people when they haven’t been making time for their writing or creativity.
That wasn’t the case with Stephanie. In fact, she’d gone to her office on a Saturday to write her next chapter, undisturbed except for our video call.
The Pressure of Deadlines After Signing a Book Contract
After we had worked together on Stephanie’s book proposal last year, she signed with a literary agent and recently signed a book contract with New Harbinger Publications. She was now working away quite diligently on her chapters so as to meet her deadlines and her publisher’s expectations.
At a loss for why her creative muse kept disturbing her otherwise restful sleep, I suggested I lead her through the guided meditation I call, “Meet Your Muse.”
I guided Stephanie through the imaginary path in a meadow, into the woods and then a clearing with a little building within which her creative muse awaited.
“Ask your muse what it needs from you,” I suggested.
“Trust. Believing in myself. My muse says I’m wanting to please my publishing team and feeling like a little kid trying to please teachers by working in overdrive.
What the Creative Muse Needs
“My muse wants to me not to try so hard. To trust that my message is still available to me.
“As I think about it, I’ve fallen off the final step you taught us for creative flow—gratitude. I’m trying to get writing done. I need to resume writing with gratitude, not churning out batches. My muse says to stay with my purpose and the underlying reason I started on this journey.”
“My muse would appreciate respect, too. It’s waking me up in the night to prove that it’s working hard and helping me stay on top of my writing and the publisher’s expectations, while also letting me know that it wants its spirit to be honored in the process.”
How to Honor the Spirit of the Muse
“It’s eye opening to realize my muse just wants to be honored. The 1 a.m. wake ups were a sufficiently quiet time to get my attention, but consistently waking at that hour made me aggravated and perturbed.”
That’s when I prompted Stephanie to ask her creative muse how she could honor its spirit.
“My muse is trying to send me the message that it’s present, accounted for, okay.
“When it wakes me, I can make a sincere vow: ‘I see you! I know you’re here. We can rest now. We’ll join forces again in the morning.'”
“My muse says, when I signed the book deal, I prioritized deadlines and producing a product over my creative perspective and purpose. I feel a sense of relief, recommitting to feeling gratitude, embracing my creativity and honoring my muse whenever I write.”
Focus on Creative Gratitude
Stephanie created a daily gratitude log that she uses before and after writing. She said, “It helps me in so many ways! From finding my voice to collecting my energy and focusing so I can write with clarity. It gives me a boost of courage when I’m feeling vulnerable and helps me keep my commitments to myself, no matter how big or small.”
When her gratitude practice fell off, it impacted her writing. “I’m thankful you helped me revisit the muse exercise today because it led me to dust off my gratitude journal. It’s a fitting time of year to get back on track [with gratitude].”
How Will You Honor Your Creative Muse?
These questions may help you get back on track if you’ve been prioritizing productivity over creativity:
- Are you pushing yourself to churn out chapters?
- Are you honoring the spirit of your muse?
- Do you remember to practice gratitude when you write?
- What else helps you connect with your muse?
What can you commit to right now to honor your muse and welcome creative flow?