Far from being a veteran writer, I have had difficult times finding and retaining the muse that would give me ideas for writing. Many have said that getting creative writing ideas is strongly interrelated to whether or not you are creative or not creative at all. Certainly, I do not think similarly. Personally, there are a couple of habits and actions I do to guarantee that my creative writing prompts take effect and remain. Found below are a few that I have found to be tremendously advantageous to my process:
- Change of Mindset – It can be frustrating, believe me, to be staring at a blank page because you cannot seem to find and keep the inspiration. One thing that worked fantastically for me is to change my mindset about the present subject matter. I accomplish this by talking to fellow writers who are going through the same challenges. This practice helps eliminate my writer’s block and gets me inspired to view my problem from a different perspective.
- Interesting People – Interesting people typically have such fascinating stories to impart. I customarily get inspired by people who have undergone adversities and hardships, yet still accomplished their goals.
- The Internet – Evidently, the Internet is an obvious place to find the muse. If I am searching for ideas for shorts stories, for example, I watch video stories and talks like those found in TED, because they feature inspiring people with innovative ideas that have changed or will change the world. I for one, as a grown man, cannot help but choke when I watch Sam Berns share his philosophy for a happy life.
- Let It Go and Let It Flow – If you are stuck in a rut, having fun, relaxing, and just letting your life flow is a pleasurable technique to get your muse back. Since letting it go and letting it flow breaks your pattern, your attention is transferred to the fun things while your subconscious sorts out your writing problem in the background.
- Nature – This is also an apparent source to find the muse, maybe because it is tried and tested. When I walk through nature and observe its details, I find my inspiration every time. I even attempt to do my creative writing exercises while at the park or by the lake. You do not have to go too excessive, like some people who need to travel to Italy or France just to get inspiration. Merely step out into nature and find your muse.
- Positivity – Many studies indicate that being positive will help you not only in your work but also other facets of your life (read James Clear’s article blog on positive thinking). I tried this technique one time when I was stuck writing a short story. That same night, before I went to sleep, I positively talked to myself that I would get inspired by the next day. When I woke up, I was completely surprised that I had such inspiration that I kept on working on my short story for three days straight!
- Word Associations – Attempt to do some word associations when you are stuck. Just scribble words that come to mind, no judgments. You will soon find that a combination of the words that you think are pretty random can lead you towards inspiration.
Know where you can find and keep your muse by trying any of my ideas for short stories above. Even if your muse is stubborn and will not come to you immediately after these suggestions, your mental and physical health will still thank you for it!