How often do you have that spark of productivity referred to as a muse?
It’s not enough to simply discover your muse. You should be able to awaken it, once you know that it does exist. You cannot daily depend on your muse to appear to the occasion. It may need an instant poke to come into the light. These quick tips help me with my naughty muse. And they can be universal.
Sleep well and set an early alarm.
As trivial as it may sound, an alarm clock awakens not only you, but your muse as well. The famous theater director Rupert Goold claims that his best ideas came from shallow-sleep dreams.
Rupert Goold: “Get an alarm with a long snooze function and set it early. Shallow-sleep dreams have been the source of many of my best ideas.”
However, some genii managed to have a boost of productivity even in their sleep. Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein solved problems while sleeping. While some great scientific discoveries happened in dreams:
August Kekulé began dreaming of atoms dancing and arranging themselves – when he woke up, he realized what he actually dreamed about, and in this way, he discovered the structure of benzene and aromatic chemistry.
Do you remember the periodic table? Dmitri Mendeleev saw the logical arrangement of elements in his dream. He later wrote about it: “In a dream I saw a table where all the elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper.”
Thinking is a productive way to get new ideas and conceive new projects. Though, changing your regular process of thinking can be the most successful path to stir your creative muse. On the contrary, unusual thinking could be an impulse that could kindle your inspiration.
The famous German mathematician Carl Jacobi started with the principle of inversion in mathematics. He insisted: “man muss immer umkehren”, that is, “you must always invert”. Eventfully, inversion became a successful business strategy.
A British playwright Lucy Prebble says the same about writing.
Lucy Prebble: “Write backwards. Start from the feeling you want the audience to have at the end and then ask, “How might that happen?” continually, until you have a beginning.”
Reverse writing evokes sparkles of productivity and motivates you to build a steady scheme. Consequently, you wake your muse up by rearranging your routine. Such a simulation of shock may be much better than a usual procedure of writing.
Mary Weiler, an innovative content writer at Ultius, confessed in her interview that she writes only backwards, no matter what type of paper it is. She also mentioned: “Writing is a productive process, and its dialectics lies not in the push to write, but rather in the vector we choose. I suggest my colleagues choosing backwards writing, because it certainly boosts chances of successful content, but more likely, it proves the effectiveness of efforts.”
Get to your favorite place.
For many creative people, their room is their favorite place, where the masterpieces go live. The places where you feel more productive than usual are frequently called the habit fields.
Stephen King, for instance, believes that the muse is always attracted to the room the writer works in. He calls his muse “a half-wild beast” and insists that you can’t call a muse, unless it’s ready to come itself. The muse can sometimes vanish for even months. That’s when authors experience the writer’s block.
Susan Philipsz, an artist who won the 2010 Turner Prize, suggests that train journeys are particularly good for your muse. J. K. Rowling’s muse woke up on a train, when she conceived the tremendously popular Harry Potter story while traveling from Manchester to London King’s Cross.
Likewise, the small Caribbean Island of Bermuda was a place where Mark Twain awakened his muse.
For me, it’s nature. I try to go outside, usually walk in the park or in the woods.
Make hasty notes.
A successful novelist, playwright and translator Michael Frayn makes notes every day.
He says, “And certainly at the end of each day’s work I try … to make hasty notes and write down bits and pieces of what’s going to come, anything that’s already in one’s head, sort of scatter it down on the page so that when you start the next day you’ve got some stuff there to work on.”
Richard Branson confessed that he always makes notes and that’s one of the reasons why all the companies he works with become more successful. In fact, storing the data expands mental energy.
I make notes all the time – when I have an instant fantasy flow, I take a pen and sketch a scheme of my article or write down a word that is specifically important for the further plot development.
Take time for solitude.
Charles Dickens didn’t just write his incredible novels, he managed to conquer his muse by solitary walks in parks. Spending time alone helped him notice the details that he sophisticatedly used in his works.
Isolation is one of the key elements of creativity and productivity in the first place. A sudden enlightenment or idea incubation can help your ideas coalesce. Science says, you should communicate with your inner self and here’s how to talk to yourself properly.
One of the most famous Albert Einstein’s quotes goes like this: “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” There is nothing wrong with being an introvert and being a productive person at the same time. Quite the opposite. More than that, extraordinary people tend to be more productive and creative and have more chances to awaken their muse.
A muse is a tricky creature. To have a constant flow of productivity, you need to know what stirs your imagination in the first place. Have healthy sleeping habits, invert and make notes, find your happy place and try to have some time to be alone.
Do you use any specific tips to awaken your productivity muse? Share your experience in comments.
P.S.: I managed to awaken my muse to write this article.