BY RETIEF POTGIETER
An artist will sometimes mention that he or she hasn’t had an original thought in a while. That they haven’t created something fresh. Then they’ll blame it on the lack of a ‘muse’.
But here is no such thing as a ‘muse’. There is no such thing as a lack of inspiration. You do have a creative thoughts; you are just afraid to act on them.
Here’s what writers stuck for inspiration should do to avoid blaming ‘The Muse’.
Keep on writing
Keep writing all your thoughts on paper. Get yourself a notebook and keep it nearby for when you have an excellent idea. Work on your ideas and if there is one story that sticks with you, keep with it. Develop it fully. Make yourself eager to explore where the creative road takes you. Just sit, focus and write.
Keep away from ‘help’
- Don’t use alcoholic beverages as a source of inspiration.
- Don’t drink it to keep yourself limber. Alcohol doesn’t solve a problem.
- Don’t make yourself dependent on substances.
Don’t be eccentric
Don’t be full of odd whims that need to be satisfied before you can write. Here are a few examples:
- Don’t demand absolute silence, or French vanilla tea, because it is the only thing that stimulates your brain.
- Don’t try to write at a certain time, like three o’clock in the morning.
- Don’t force yourself to write a certain number of words a day. Some days are better than others.
- Don’t always write in solitary confinement. Take your laptop, go sit at a local hangout and write. Sustain the noises, sounds, smells and feeling around you!
Skip the pressure of perfection
- Don’t put pressure on yourself. No one expects your work to be an instant hit.
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes can be fixed. Writing is like walking. You can’t learn ahead of time. You have to learn as you go along.
- Don’t write for someone else. Do it for yourself. As long as you believe in the story you want to share with your readers, keep on.
- As a writer, you control the story. No one else does. Without you there is no story. No matter what anyone else says.
Be a disciplined writer
Writing is a lot of work. It is not that easy. It takes a lot of time. To be successful you have to write regularly. It doesn’t have to be all day or every day, but you should get on with it. You have to be able to sit down and do the ‘hard yards’.
Have some balance in your life
Don’t get obsessed. Do something fun in between writing, like going to a rock concert or the movies. You can’t focus just on writing. You will burn out. Writing is all about balance.
About the Author:
Retief Potgieter is a blog writer. After completing a writing course at SA Writers College, his goal is to create content for magazines and websites. In his free time, he writes children’s books.
Photo credit: Sebastien Wiertz