I spent all of last looking for my muse, begging, waiting, watching TV all night!!! There is no other way to approach writing but saying that it is hard, and unless you have already decided to be alone most of the time writing, chances are that you will never find your so-called muse.
We are humans, before we are writers, carpenters or anything else. We tend to choose easy ways to achieve the most in this world. While there might be a story or two of writers who made it to the hall of fame overnight, the truth is that writing is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. We tend to tell stories to ourselves and make up a thousand reasons why we cannot write at the moment. The damn muse has lost my address and left me to struggle all alone. That’s my mind’s easy solution to a tough situation. There is one way to find the muse every day, and that is to write every day.
The easy part is to find an idea to write about, but the difficult part is to actually write. I might not list all the possible sources of stories, but I will list some of my favorites:
- The news: stories are all over the news. While reporters tend to tell you the important events and usually the tragedy, you might try to imagine the reasons behind these tragedies, or simply rewrite these stories adding your style and ideas to them.
- Stories by other writers: you might call this stealing, but if you just use the idea in the story, there is no theft at all. Always remember that story of Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet, was written at least five times with an almost identical plot, but the way Shakespeare wrote it made it what it is today.
- Keep your eyes open: this is truly my favorite source of ideas, all the world around me. Writers have eyes for some details that people usually pass by without noticing. Keep your eyes open, there might be a story even in the very daily things that happen around you. If you look again, carefully, I bet you will start seeing them.
- There are all those writing prompts applications for smart phones, or as websites that you can visit on a daily basis to get something to write about.
I can still think of some more sources of ideas for stories, but I think you can see by now that ideas are everywhere around us. The reason this block stood in our way in the first place was not that there was no idea to write about, but that we chose the easy way out of the difficult writing process. I chose to be a writer, and I enjoy it. I have to write every day to keep my writing alive, just like going to the gym to keep fit. It is difficult, but necessary.
There is one last thing about getting the right idea to write about; don’t judge the idea too much, for it is like judging a new born baby. Wait for the idea to develop and grow into a poem, short story, or even a novel and then judge the grown-up result of the idea. All you need to start is to know what you want to write about, and the rest will come.
December 12, 2014