Locating the Muse
by Ellen Buikema
It was last seen as a swirling mist, which dissipated into the scorching Arizona sun.
Here I sit, fingers paused on the keyboard, wondering if … maybe there is a good post on Facebook. Drat, nothing there … oh wait, here’s a cat playing tag around a post with a turtle, or was it a tortoise?
Back to the manuscript. One hand on the mouse, the other holds up my head. Still nothing.
“Dogs, it’s not the doorbell. It’s just the TV. Go lay down.”
Maybe there’s more coffee in the kitchen. All out.
Maybe I should go take a nap.
Actually, a nap is not a bad thing. Often, inspiration can be found in dreams. The worst thing to do is to sit in front of the computer and stare at it until you’re ready to scream. Getting away from the computer is productive when the muse slips away.
Go to the mall and people watch. Imagine how the shoppers will explain away the massive number of bags they bring home. Observe the body language of people as they walk from store to store. What do you think is running through their minds?
Head out to the airport. The environment is fraught with emotions to use in writing; joy at meeting loved ones, sorrow while saying goodbye, frustration at the baggage claim.
Take a trip to the beach. The crashing waves help clear the mind, and splash sprinkles of ideas to use in writing.
Meander toward a park. Watch people of all ages play, laugh, and converse. Put yourself in their shoes, metaphorically, and walk about in them. See how your perspective changes.
Change the routine to locate that elusive muse.
Ellen Buikema is a writer and former teacher. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, she received her M.Ed. specializing in Early Childhood. She has extensive post-graduate studies in special education from Northeastern Illinois University. Ellen writes short stories, poetry, adult non-fiction and children’s fiction, sprinkling humor everywhere possible. Find her at EllenBuikema.com, on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and ItMattersRadio.com for a podcast interview.