Saturday, August 16, 2008

What do you use for Inspiration?

I admit it, I have a problem.

Since I started writing professionally several years ago, my efforts have been sporadic at best. I would have to wait weeks, and sometimes months for The Muse to visit me. Then I'd write in a frenzy while it lasted, and set it aside again until the fickle whim struck again. I'd TRY to write, try to force it and just write daily to get into the 'habit' of writing, but you could really tell it was forced. The magic wasn't there, even after weeks of doing it daily. If my Muse doesn't cooperate, then it's just not happening. I tried NaNoWriMo, several other things, etc.

While I've finished seven books so far this way, it was very frustrating for me. I'd have so many quick ideas for books, etc. that I would write down, but they'd just sit there forever, waiting for the Muse to join in and inspiration to hit.

In the meantime, life went on. My husband and I started a Hypnosis business with low-cost Community Workshops that we put on in town every two weeks. One of my plans for the business was to make self-hypnosis CD's that we could start selling both online and at our workshops. So I started experimenting on myself with making cd's about two weeks ago -- working on self-confidence, sleeping better, creativity, procrastination, public speaking, blah blah blah. Lots of issues I have that wanted to work on. I'd listen every night just before sleep (okay, I'd fall asleep while listening).

And little by little, I've noticed something that took me a while to realize... I've changed. I've been writing every day. Several times a day. Sometimes it might be for 5 or 10 minutes in between the kids trying to kill each other or demolish the house or hang the cats. And sometimes after they went to bed, I'd sit down and pop out a couple of thousand words before bed. But EVERY DAY. And it wasn't the 'forced writing' that I'd been struggling with. No muss, no fuss, I'd just sit down and do it, and The Muse was there.

I wish I'd discovered this years ago, I would have saved myself so much frustration. Believe me, I was probably the biggest skeptic in the world that it would work on me. My husband has been a professional hypnotist for years, but I never let him hypnotize me. On a lark, I became certified a few months ago as well, but still never did it myself.

Weird, huh? I'm sleeping better, too. My house is getting cleaned (it was a disaster). Little by little I plug away at it... again, no muss, no fuss, I just do it as part of my day.

So what's your inspiration? How do you beat the Muse into cooperating with you?