Step One: FIND YOUR MUSE.
INSPIRATION: for those who have none, or for those who have lost it…
Now, I begin this with the assumption – which I know is dangerous – that you’ve already found your story. If you haven’t yet found it, I cannot help you. I cannot tell you where my inspiration comes from. However, I can offer suggestions on how you can open your mind and find your story.
So, for those of you who haven’t found your muse, and all you want from life is to write a book, you have a few tasks on your to-do list. In fact, as it’s the beginning of 2012 you might as well add them to your new years resolutions!
Here are a couple suggestions to start – I won’t overwhelm you:
- NEW EXPERIENCES: You need to get out and do something you’ve never done before. For the creative mind, a new experience can be the explosive trigger to a masterpiece. The parts of my writing that get the most praise are fueled by life experiences. I don’t find anything by sitting at my desk, I only develop it there. Make it goal to try something new three or four times a week – even if it is as simple as trying new coffee house, or making homemade pizza instead of having it delivered.
- READ A BOOK: Now, I shouldn’t have to say it, and I hope that many of you just rolled your eyes to the fact it is on my list – but, it’s a fact that some people try to break into the field without picking up a book that hasn’t been assigned to them. It’s how you discover writing styles, find out how to write a description that exudes emotion, to subconsciously discover the natural flow of a storyline, help you see how to make characters matter to your reader – I could go on and on. I would also count watching movies and television series in this category, but for the love of writing read a book – might I suggest: The Tiger’s Wife, by Tea Obreht. (This is not an assignment, merely a suggestion).
- FREE WRITE: Quick definition – Write without thought or judgement for an extended period of time. It is also called: Stream of Consciousness writing. Being able to write without second guessing yourself might be all you need to find your story. Of course I would suggest making time for this exercise everyday for at least fifteen minutes even if you are already working on your book. It helps to get the juices flowing and the fingers pumping. (I will post an example of this soon – unedited and free).
As I continue with the ‘How I’m Writing my Book ‘series I will refer to the above list. Even if you are in the middle of your story these suggestions can help you break a writer’s block, or solve a problem in the storyline. Exercise, lying on my bed with my eyes closed, pacing or dancing in my room, listening to music very loudly, and going for a walk are other ways that I open my mind and solve problems that delay my story development.
On a personal note, I can’t tell you where the idea for my book came from. If I could tell you I would, but in honesty I can’t remember. As far as I know I woke up one morning and this story was waiting for me. The list I have provided are things I do on a regular basis – and let me tell you, the free writing sessions I have after cooking sessions are pretty dang surprising!
Hope you’ve found Step One: Find your Muse helpful!
For more of my steps, past or present, visit: How I’m Writing a Book.