Every writer has come to the point where a project becomes muddy, sticky, and monotonous. Is it writer’s block? Sure. Is it becoming bored with your own story? Maybe. Is it a perpetual northern winter or a life event that arrives like a stray lightning bolt and saps you of any motivation to get to the page? Absolutely.
But what can you do to get out of that funk and awaken from the stupor? How can you rise above yourself and this particular situation with your friend or family member that just won’t leave you?
I believe the answer lies in what has been called a muse. It’s the age old question. What can the artist (in this case writer) do to keep, well, doing? It’s not a sudden burst of energy that finishes a great work but coming back to your art day after day after day. The great writers of the past may have written amazing volumes because of the epic lives they lived. But more likely, they became great writers because they pulled up their sleeves and wrote. No. Matter. What.
But this work requires energy. And yours is sapped remember? Where is this muse? How do you get one?
In the article, How to Keep and Feed a Muse by Ray Bradbury, he explores a thread which holds the “how to fuel your art” together:
“I believe one thing holds it all together. Everything I’ve ever done was done with excitement, because I wanted to do it, because I loved doing it.” (Bradbury, Zen and the Art of Writing, pg 40). Combined with, “Do not, for money, turn away from all of the stuff you have collected in a lifetime. Do not, for the vanity of intellectual publications, turn away from what you are – the material within you which makes you individual, and therefore indispensable to others.” Bradbury, Zen and the Art of Writing, pg 42).
So, writer. It’s time to unlock the broom cupboard you’ve put yourself into. The key or muse, after all, is right in your hand. It’s remembering who you are, a turn back to the original trail that you started long ago.
So, do something you love.
Allow that love to unlock excitement, ardor, joy.
And use joy to write.