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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Food For My Muse

What feeds your muse and keeps it strong? Some know the answer to that quesiton, others couldn't tell you. For the longest time I belonged to the latter catagory, I really didn't know. Ideas seemed to fall out of the sky and that isn't a good thing. You can't exactly make them fall when you want them to. Then one day I woke up and recalled the most vivid, amazing dream. It stuck with me so much that I wrote it down. I bought a journal and put it beside my bed. Everytime I woke up and could recall them, I wrote down my dreams.

A few book ideas have developed out of my dreams and even more ideas for chapters and characters. Recalling isn't always easy. I've realized it helps if I fall asleep focusing on remembering my dreams in the morning. Alarm clocks don't help, neither does sleep deprivation. It doesn't always work but when it does the effort is usually well worth it.

Think of your muse as a muscle in your brain. Like any muscle in the body, if you don't work it and feed it, it will whither away. The more you work it, the easier using it will be. A strong muse equals a strong writer. Try a dream journal. You might be surprised at the ideas that come out of it.

7 comments:

  1. I remember having to keep a dream journal for college class. I had some odd dreams. I have had a few story ideas that were born from dreams. These days I have a dog who insists on waking me up way too early and probably wouldn't have any patience for me writing my dreams down when I wake up!

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  2. I keep a dream journal also and it's very helpful. Thanks for the great tip!

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  3. My muse... MUSIC!!! Seriously. I listen to songs and they either give me ideas or fuel the ones already bouncing around in my brain. Music sets the stage for my characters and the scenes I construct around them. I see my writing as a movie scene - what would be playing in the background here? Music is SO my ultimate muse.

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  4. Too bad your dog's internal alarm clock won't let you wake up naturaly Alissa! I suspect making him wait would not end well :)

    Fida, you keep a journal too! I'm not the only one then, great to hear.

    Music definitely feeds my muse too Krissi, though not quite as much. I'm working on trying to listen to it more lately though!

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  5. You know what? My strongest muse is my own memory. I have had a rather strange life in a lot of ways, and sometimes my memories overtake me... but the good thing is, I can summon them at will. This works especially well if I am going for a certain mood, because the memories invoke the same feelings I felt when they actually happened.

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  6. I also sleep on an idea, but I also think a good long drive with some inspirational music lends a hand to working through a scene idea or a whole story.

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  7. Wow Anne that would a fabulous thing to be able to pull from. Many actresses would kill to have that ability! It gives me a good idea though. Next time I writing a scene I'll try to think of a time when I've had a similar emotion.

    Great idea Lindsey, a long drive and some good music. I'm going to try that too. Love the ideas you all are giving me! Thank you!

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