Pinning down the elusive muse

This is a guest post from Jennifer Sights
You’re home from your day job. You’ve done any chores needing attention. Now you’re ready to work on your Next Great Novel, or Painting, or Sculpture. You have all night ahead of you to get loads of art created. You sit down, annnnnnd…nothing.

Maybe you stare at the blank screen for a while. Still, nothing comes. Your mind – empty. Devoid of even the faintest spark of creativity.

We’ve all heard of The Muse – that ethereal, Mystical being who supposedly ignites magnificent ideas in our souls. Yet all too often The Muse deserts us when we need her most. What do you do then?

I’ve got some tough news for you – if you really want to make a go of your art, you can’t sit around waiting for The Muse. Nothing will happen that way. You might get a lot of Facebooking done, but not art. You have to make your own inspiration.

But how?

Chance are, you get little sparks of ideas all the time, everywhere you go. The girl with purple hair lost in thought at the coffee shop. The billowing storm clouds against the indigo sky at dusk. The single discarded rose on the cold ground at the bus station. The lyrics to a song on the radio.

What do you do when these sparks come across your path? Ignore them? Glance at them, then turn away? Why don’t you try this instead – write them down. Take a picture. Create Pinterest boards of inspiring quotes and photos. Then, when the Muses has deserted you, you’ll have a nearly endless well of ideas to choose form for your next project.

If that doesn’t work, take a break. Go for a walk. Dance – even if it’s alone in the privacy of your own home. Practice yoga. Sing. Do something different, something out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to do something new, something scary. That’s a sure-fire way to get your creative juices flowing again, sweeter than ever.

DO NOT JUDGE YOURSELF. Whatever it is you do, be kind to yourself. Especially if you’re trying something new. No one is perfect at the beginning. In fact, most of us suck when we start something new. Keep trying. Take the challenges of learning this new thing and use it as fodder for your art.

Have Artist Dates with a few friends or colleagues. Meet at a coffee shop to bounce ideas off each other and work on your art together. I do this with my artist friend, Michelle. Every week, we meet at a chocolate shop and eat salted caramels and drink French press coffee. The change of scenery always helps, and when we’re stuck, we can help each other, and give each other feedback.

Be sure you constantly renew your well of ideas. But also be sure you get enough rest. Something you just need a good, long catnap to renew yourself and your creativity. And who knows – maybe you’ll have a dream during that catnap that leaves you with an idea so exciting, you can’t wait to jump out of bed to turn it into art when you wake up.

But most of all, never lose faith in yourself.

Never give up.

Be your own Muse.

website photoJen Sights is a fiction writer and lifestyle coach for introverts. Being an introvert herself, she’s had to figure out how to make her home-based businesses – and life in general – work for her in a world that is constantly on the go.

Whether you don’t yet know what your passion is, or need help implementing your BIG dreams, Jen’s the gal for you. She’s been there and knows exactly how it feels. And wouldn’t you love to work with someone who understands what you’re going through?