Three ways to feed your muse: muse juice, part 1
Ever feel as if your muse is sitting back, stuffing her face with Bon Bons while watching reruns of “True Blood”? How do you inspire her to get off her ever-widening rear end and get back to work?
Check out www.Ted.com, where you’ll find “riveting talks by remarkable people.” Or, as I affectionately call this website—muse juice.
One of my favorite inspirational talks is by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. In trying to answer the question, “Where does creativity come from?” she tells of the time she met American poet Ruth Stone who grew up in rural Virginia.
Sometimes, when Ruth was out working in the fields, she’d feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape—like a “thunderous train of air” barreling down on her. She’d run like hell to the house to get paper and pencil so when the poem barreled through her she’d be ready. Sometimes, she’d almost miss it. During these times, she’d grab a pencil and reach out with her other hand and catch the poem by its tail, pulling it back to her. When this happened, the poem would come out on the page perfectly intact but backwards—the words written from the end of the poem to the beginning.
I love this story because it feels as if it could be true.
My own version of this story happens when I go for a long walk where my muse can clear her head and breathe in the fresh, salty air near our home. Maybe it’s the fresh air or the rhythm of my feet on pavement, but suddenly a whisper of an idea will seize me and a poem will begin to write itself. I’ve learned to bring pen and paper, or my iphone with its recorder app. By the time I get back home, I often have a completed poem.
I don’t know if these poems come from some divine magical source or if they’ve been jarred loose from my unconscious by the rhythm of my feet on pavement, or if it’s a combination of the two. I’ve decided it doesn’t matter—as long as the words keep coming.
The next time you need to wake up your muse–hold off on the Bon Bons and check out www.Ted.com. Get your muse juiced.
To read part two of this post click here.