Believe in Magic

I'm not a big believer in the idea of the muse. If I only wrote when I felt magically inspired, in the flow of writing, very little would ever happen. But that doesn't mean that I don't see the moments the muse shows her fickle butt up to the party. For me, the muse regularly shows up when I'm in the shower, or washing dishes. Something about my hands being covered in soap and water really makes the muse smack my brain with all of the great ideas. What an ass. 

I fully believe that writers need inspiration to keep going, to solve the problems that inevitably arise in stories. Maybe it's in the spark of an idea, or the sudden connection of two ideas to solve a problem.  So what can you do to coax some inspiration out? Well here are 5 little tips.

1. Stop forcing it. 

Sitting at the computer and demanding to be hit by the inspiration stick usually just leads to a lot of frustration and not a lot of production. Sit down (or stand or walk!) and get to work. Maybe inspiration shows up, maybe it doesn't but you've got work to do. 

2. Take time off

Work, work, work is a recipe for burn out and a whole lot of nope. Take time off from your work. Go outside, take a shower, wash dishes, do laundry, play a game, do something else. Give your subconscious time to stir the soup of ideas. 

3. Talk it out. 

Sometimes you've got to talk the little gremlins down. What I mean is, sometimes you need to take that plot problem out of your head and into the physical world. It doesn't matter if you're talking out the plot problem with your cat, dog, stuffed weasel, whatever. What matters is getting the words together to explain it. I'm amazed at the number of times simply speaking it out loud makes a solution suddenly click into place. 

4. Have fun. 

Go and do something you enjoy. Take a hike, a bubble bath, a nap. Do something that you enjoy, feed the muse some happiness. 

5. Remember you're more than your muse. 

So maybe your muse is MIA and you're feeling like crap. Your self worth is not tied up in your muse taking a day (or more) off. You're still amazing. Take some time to re-fill your creative well and that muse will be back. 

Magic happens in the mundane, you just have to pay attention enough to catch it.