Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Listening to Your Muse

Writer Wednesday

One of the challenges of writing is finding the time to write when the muse strikes. Sitting down at a computer doesn't guarantee inspiration any more than NOT sitting down will stifle it. Inspiration can strike while at work, in line at the grocery store, or sitting at a red light. None of these environments is conducive to writing. However, there are some steps you can take to use these inspirational moments and then work them into your writing later.

• Always carry a pen and paper with you. This can be a small notebook, a few index cards in your wallet, or a folded piece of scrap paper you saved from the recycle bin.
• When you envision a scene or have an idea, write that idea on your piece of paper. You may not always have time to write the entire scene. So at least write one word down that is the main them of your scene, such as "apple" or "guilt."
• In this day of technology, a phone or tablet will work as well. Send yourself a text with a key word or two, or write yourself a reminder in your electronic calendar.
• Your inspiration comes from people you meet. Therefore, take note of little idiosyncrasies or habits of people that you can weave into your story and make your characters memorable.
• Keep a journal. Set aside five minutes a day to write freely. Use the time for gratitude or description or even your task list for the day. You never know when inspiration will strike from words that come from your pen.

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