“I’ve got writer’s block!” Have you ever heard someone say that? Or maybe said it yourself?
We hear it all the time. Most writers think that their inner voice is hit-or-miss, that it is great when it arrives, but that it can’t be counted on to show up just when they need it.
But did you know that you can call on your own Muse whenever you need her?
Your Creative Solutions
Many writers quickly dismiss the thought that they can receive an insight just by calling on their own inner voice whenever they need it. But those same people also do just that on a regular basis without even thinking about it.
How do they do it? Most writers work at day jobs with challenges. New issues regularly arise in our work requiring new solutions. If fact, think of a situation at work where you were presented with a problem that you didn’t immediately know how you were going to solve, but that you ultimately did solve. What did you do? Did you give up? Likely not. If you’re like most, you take pride in accomplishing even your day–job work competently, and you likely have enough confidence in your ability to know that you will probably be able to solve most problems that crop up in your work. So, what did you do fix the work problem that first seemed insoluble?
Creativity’s Four Steps
Creativity studies indicate that you likely went through four stages in solving the problem: Research, “Kick Back,” “Ah-ha,” and Manifestation.
First, you studied the problem to understand why you couldn’t solve it quickly. Then you gathered the facts necessary to understand as much as you could about why the problem wasn’t susceptible to a quick solution. Perhaps you studied the problem visually, talked to a colleague, reviewed precedents in the files, or looked it up on the Internet. Perhaps you experimented with quick solutions to see if one would work. If none of those approaches worked immediately, what did you do then?
Second, you probably set the problem aside for awhile and went on to something else. You “forgot” about the problem, or “kicked back,” or otherwise turned the focus of your conscious attention away from the problem. What happened then?
Third, the solution likely suddenly “popped” into your mind in plenty of time to solve the problem, as answers had on many other occasions when, for example, in conversation with someone you had forgotten a name and said “Give me moment, it’ll come to me.” And it later did.
Fourth, if you’re like most, the excitement of solving a problem that had no apparent solution likely energized you to actually solve the problem, to make the solution exist in the world and to not just exist in your mind. Besides, it was part of your job to solve such problems, to make the obstacles in your work disappear, which you likely then did. And, if the problem was tough enough, and your solution effective, you probably shared the problem and your solution with a co-worker.
What went on here? You were presented with a problem that you didn’t know how to solve; you asked your intuition to work on the solution; your intuition delivered the solution in time to solve the problem; and you made it exist in the world. Aren’t you in fact in tune with your inner inspiration?
Do you think that your inner inspiration is limited to solving problems at work, or can you call on your Muse whenever you need her start a chapter, to finish a plot, to flesh out a character, to find a great title, or to simply make a writing decision with confidence? How would you go about finding a creative and effective answer to a most pressing question in your writing? How would you call on your Muse just when you need her?
Muse on Demand
Why not follow the same four steps you used to solve the problem at your day job: study the writing problem, learn all you can about it, and research possible solutions to the problem. Then forget about the problem for awhile and wait for an idea for a solution to pop into your mind. When it does, act on the idea and make the solution exist in the world. You are in tune with your inner inspiration. You can call on your Muse whenever you need her to find answers to your most pressing writing questions. If you’re at a dead end in solving a writing problem, why not simply ask your Muse for help?
Ask your inner voice. Try it!
Jim Wawro is a Cornell-educated former international trial lawyer who condensed his study of proven methods for using the inner voice into a definitive guide to accessing the wisdom that lies within you. To order your copy of Ask Your Inner Voice (and get a free bonus gift of the Ask Your Inner Voice Workbook when you order the book on June 23–24, 2010), go here: http://activateintuition.com/launch-special .
Top image: Flickr Creative Commons Ecstaticist