How to find your lost muse

June 10, 2015


This is all about finding your inspiration when you think it’s lost.  Because it never is lost, not really. It’s just covered up with other stuff, like life, fear, sloth and insecurity, among other things. Writer’s block is in our minds and we can use our minds to overcome it and find our muse again. Want to find your muse?
1ac2d4fe69de7afba0b13822448e2332Having a regular writing practice –no matter what you write–gets the pump primed. Make it habit each day to sit down and write whatever comes out, even if you think it’s crap. It may be. But it’s like the rusty water that comes out of a tap that hasn’t been used for a while. Run the water for a while and the water turns clear. Be patient.d792d10d45f1520ed4faba47757fd833

People who are not writers may think what we do is easy, and it is, for some of us. But for others, especially those who write first person, it’s like bleeding on the page. And it’s hard work. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, only what you think. Keep writing.

JackLondonMy well rarely goes dry, but it did a few weeks ago. I sat with it a day or two, and then I started looking around me. What was going on in my sphere and how could I write about it?  Yes, sometimes it doesn’t magically appear. Sometimes you have to hunt inspiration down with a club.

be-writingLike me, I know plenty of people who say they’re writers but don’t write. As someone once said to me years ago, “Writers write.”  Yep. So true.

0e2c44e88477c60ce9eb2261d95ec6aaThis is so true for me and maybe it is for you, too. Sometimes, in the process of writing an opinion I change my mind. Isn’t that interesting?

Writing-inspiration-from-Anton-Chekhov-and-FigmentChekhov knew of what he spoke. If you can’t write anything else, describe your surroundings or things that have happened in a few different ways. It’s a fun writing prompt.

untitledThis is my favorite reason to not write: I can’t figure out a way not to hurt someone.  Well, Lamott is right. If people wanted me to write warmly about them, they really SHOULD have behaved better!

da9de-second_drafts-scaled500It’s tempting to rest on our laurels after the first draft, but that was the easy draft.  The second draft MUST follow and I love this advice.

writing_inspiration-2What an interesting though this is. Thank you, Samuel Johnson.

writers-block-graphic-how-to-cure-uncreative-periods-hemingwayI’m writing, writing, writing, writing and writing…and then writing more.

ernest-hemingway-writing-quoteHemingway is so right at that. Although he was a master. Did he know it? I think we feel we never become master writers and that’s a good thing. It keeps us growing

2b39fda15e46d046e2e125f28382e3d2This is my new mantra. Funny how it adds up.

I hope these little tidbits helped you on your writer’s journey. If you’ve got something inspirational to share–or anything at all, including a lament–a differing opinion–whatever–do so in the Comments section. Thank you!

42 comments on “How to find your lost muse
  1. I have so much to write about this month on events I’ve attended or items I must review. I want to finally start writing my book but can’t seem to find the time to do it. That seems wrong but for the life of me I can’t seem to figure out to carve out time for it AND have a life! Writing, writing, writing – yep – that’s the way to go, Carol.

  2. Elena Peters says:

    I have only recently added daily thoughts to my blog. Not particularly that other people would be interested but to dump what’s in my head. I can’t believe when I free myself from the rest of my blog, how I find something to write about. It gets me into the habit of writing every day. I love this post!

  3. I haven’t run out of things to write yet but I imagine it will happen down the line and I’ll be keeping some of these in mind! ~ Leanne

  4. Carla says:

    I laughed out loud at the club quote. I had no idea anyone else did that 🙂

  5. Katerina says:

    I honestly haven’t completed any one project in 25 years, I definitely think there is a drought in my mind. The only thing I can manage to write is my blog, and only when the mood strikes me. Totally frustrating..

  6. Ah! Very sound advice from many voices — but most relatable is yours. Thank you for glossing these in a very “now” (or is that “write now”) way.

  7. Becky Blades says:

    I needed this today. Perfect, Carol.

  8. Laura says:

    You are not only prolific but every post is interesting and in the last year of reading you I’ve never read a “filler” post. These are great posts and helpful for me now as I struggle with having precious few new ideas to write and share. But I keep writing (almost) daily.

  9. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    Writing in the first person is ten million times easier than writing in the third person. By a mile.

  10. Robin Herman says:

    Superb advice for artists too Carol. Will apply immediately. Brush or pastel stick to the paper, inspired or not. Thank you for this important encouragement and reminder that the creative process is actually a “practice”.

  11. I’ve experienced a bit of a drought lately, but then I realize how much I’ve written and it doesn’t seem so bad. The difference is now I’m writing for more than my blog and, let’s face it, there’s only so much time in the day (and night). I love all these quotes, and your words ring true!

  12. Sandy says:

    These are great tips that are sure to help. I often over-think things, so I’ll have to remember these! 🙂

  13. Hi Carol! Awesome tips for sure. I am a big fan of Julie Cameron’s the artists way and I do my morning pages every morning no matter what! Of course some days it comes easier than others but I have learned after writing so long that I CAN write no matter what! (of course some times it’s crap and needs to be completely rewritten!) But at least I now know that I don’t have to have anything special happen in order to get it out. ~Kathy

  14. Alicia says:

    These are great ideas … I have hit writer’s block so many times (usually when I have a deadline). I appreciate you sharing!!

  15. This is terrific inspiration Carol. I pinned this so I could go back again and again. I’ve not found that I’ve had writers block, but I have felt that it may not be good enough sometimes. Then I remember that it will all not be “gold”.

  16. They make it sound so e-a-s-y don’t they. Writing is like bleeding yourself in front of a crowd- that’s me btw. BUT- all great advice. I think I’ll slap them on my forehead.

  17. These are great!

    One of my faves: The simple but true, “Writers write.” If I claim to be one, I better be writing. Good, bad, for myself, for others. It matters not. Writers write.

  18. Sandy Nelson says:

    Hello Carol, I’m a freshman in this lovely group of woman who support and applaud each other! You breathe inspiration into me, thank you. For me, writing provides such a high but not until I’ve finished, which of course takes like a cazillion edits. When I click “Publish” excitement kicks in and I feel free and fulfilled.

  19. Laurel Regan says:

    Very inspirational post and quotes – thank you!

  20. Britney says:

    I love all of these! They are so motivating!

  21. Liz Mays says:

    This is really helpful. I often have specific thing I can write about but my boyfriend is a novelist and can have periods of writer’s block.

  22. I have most of these quotes in my office and I just love them. I don’t have any trouble finding something to write about my trouble is finding the time to write everything I want to write.
    Of course if I am honest I do get side tracked by social media, phone calls and nice weather. During the summer I decided to get up a bit earlier to get some writing done.

  23. Anita Irlen says:

    After reading this, I realize I have to make the time to write things other than blog posts. Just write and use my imagination. Thanks for the quotes and post!


  24. Alana says:

    I am not yet a writer for pay so I have never been on deadline. If I ever get into freelance writing I hope that my daily blogging practice will provide me with the skills to work through writer’s block.

  25. I’m a sucker for quotes, and you have some marvelous quotations in this post! If I really need to vent, I write for other blogs under another name.

  26. Estelle says:

    You are the ultimate inspiration because you write every day. Thanks for the prompts.

  27. melisasource says:

    These are some great tips here. It’s always good to capture those daily reflections.

  28. Karen W says:

    Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. I really enjoyed all the quotes.

  29. dogvills says:

    Very awesome and inspiring post. Surely helps people like me to go and write more daily. Thanks!

  30. Diane says:

    Summed up perfectly and succinctly, Carol! Thank you!

  31. Beth says:

    I love the Flannery O’Connor quote . It really does take for me to write in order to know what I am really thinking. Thanks for sharing via #mdblvd 🙂

  32. Melinda says:

    I like Anne Lamont’s quote.
    Also, you look just like one of my college friends. Did you change your name? lol
    Found you on Inspire me Monday.

  33. Love this. Will share.

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