Invoking the Muse

21 Feb

Everybody is going to write a great novel one day.  Just ask them.  The only thing they are waiting for is some sort of inspiration.

They are waiting for their Muse.

Bret Anthony Johnson said that “I believe that the act of writing is itself the muse.”  I think there is merit to that idea.  Don’t wait for inspiration, just go write something, and maybe that will bring on some inspiration.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t do something to try and call the elusive Muse out of hiding.  Just as we might use writing talismans to remind ourselves that it is writing time, we might also have certain rituals to invoke the Muse.

According to what I have read:

  • Friedrich Von Schiller used to keep rotten apples in his desk, then he would inhale deeply and start writing.
  • Edgar Allan Poe wrote with a cat on his shoulders.
  • Willa Cather read the Bible before writing.  (Which is probably preferable to reading from the French civil code every morning, which is apparently what Stendhal did while writing The Charterhouse of Parma.)

    (Source : A Writer’s Book of DaysJudy Reeves)

I don’t have any ritual per se.  I find that taking my pen in hand, and opening a clean page on a quality notebook, are usually enough to let me know it is go-time. 

Do you have any rituals?

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Ponderings


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