Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Muse Maintenance

By the time this posts, I'll be sitting in the mechanic's lobby with a few chapters of manuscript to work on while the nice man in the blue jumper flushes my transmission. Any car owner knows that maintenance is important. If you don't change your oil on time, it strains the engine, shortening its life. If you neglect your belts, you could find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

Any machine needs regular checkups. I think this goes for muses, too. Lately, mine's been feeling a bit stale and neglected. I show up every day for butt-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard time, but I can't seem to shake that listless uninspired feeling.

I can usually satisfy Mr. Muse with some music and a daily walk. But I've learned that sometimes these things aren't always enough to keep him running at peak efficiency. Just as my Metro needs some TLC by way of a tune up or a transmission flush, so does Mr. Muse.

How does one tune up ones muse? Mine's responded to several things over the years:

  • Day tripping. Seeing new sights and hearing new sounds works wonders on the psyche of a muse.
  • Visiting museums, state parks, concert halls, or other beautiful, artistic places can be very nutritional!
  • Being creative in non-writing ways exercises different muse muscles. I'll crochet a scarf, make some jewelry, or learn a new craft like paper making or tie dying.
  • Working the logic muscle. Something as simple as a crossword or as complicated as a computer role playing or puzzle game can bring that spark back.
I think I'm going to take a little time over the upcoming holiday to take care of my muse. I fully expect him to be healthy and ready to work when we return.

It's your turn How do you maintain your muse?


Anonymous said...

Channel surfing. Find a bad movie on the SciFi Channel or somewhere, pick apart the plot holes, throw your TV Guide at the screen and go, "I could write a better story than that." Then do it. If it's just story ideas you need, try Discovery, NatGeo or the History Channel (I'm addicted to the dinosaur recreations and the Biblical/ancient Egyptian stuff). We're coming into the time of year when it's too cold and icy to go outside anyway. Might as well justify paying for all those channels.


Savanna Kougar said...

Mel, wonnderful ideas for Muse Maintenance.
I think my Muse partially thrives on the truth. It could be a beautiful truth. Or the truth about the Kennedy assassination.
It could be as simple as me or someone else saying how they truly feel...or as complex as the current economic situation.

Pat, yeah, I swear the few TV shows I watch today, have holes a mile wide. They would never have passed muster before. I find that terrifically sad and also a reason for concern.

Anonymous said...

Sav - don't forget all the massive commercial breaks, and the fact 7 out of 10 channels chosen at random will be on commercial break at the same time (I've tested this myself). That's the point when I switch off the set and go read a book. I've been reading a lot lately.


Evonne Wareham said...

I love the spanner. Do you call them spanners - maybe it's a monkey wrench? I know as much about car maintainence as I do about astro physics. Actually I may know more about astro physics. I agree about the suggestion of museums, theatre, art. But also a little quiet people watching, and eavesdropping. I love eavesdropping, and you can call it research!!

Savanna Kougar said...

Omygawd!!! The commercials are so sick now, so destructive to the human spirit, I can't watch them!!!