In Location, Location, Location, you learned about the three types of location that can affect your muse. Your Physical location addresses the setup of where you write. The Mental location addresses your mental state before, during, and after writing. Location 3 is your story location and how being at the wrong point can hinder your muse. These aren’t all the things that might impact your muse as far as location goes, but they were some I dealt with. If you have any of your own locations that work better or worse for you, please comment on the previous post. Next, let’s look at ways to inspire your muse that doesn’t involve writing while you do it.
Live your Life
Now, I’m not trying to tell you what to do, so take this post as a collection of general recommendations. Sometimes we exist so much in our fiction worlds that we fear, or don’t want, to leave. They often portray the life of an author as reclusive and lonely, but it doesn’t mean you need to fit into society’s definition of a writer. Don’t forget that much of your character, world, and social studies can’t come from the books on your shelves. Most of the time, you need to get out into the real world, to interact with, observe, and subtly scrutinize other people.
Natural resources are a hot topic in today’s world. How do we build and maintain sustainable energy? How do we minimize our consumerism? Things like that. But what a lot of writers may not realize is that nature is an amazing natural source of material, so long as we pay attention. I’d like to offer a new way to look at nature as well. While the Rocky Mountains and other ranges offer beautiful resources, there’s something about driving through expanses of land where there’s not a hill in sight. Also, if you’ve ever been to a big city, there’s something terrifyingly beautiful about it. Just like we all live in different areas, your books occur in various areas. Sometimes what your muse starves for is to experience Antonio’s Pizzeria again on 39th Street (Completely made up, so sorry if this is an actual place somewhere.) or it needs to be reminded of your favorite hiking trail/path up Logan Canyon (Utah). You won’t always want to match your story though, because experiencing the inverse setting for your novel can trigger what’s missing in your actual setting. Also, it’s just better to experience more of the world that you can. Experiences lead to an internal depth, but also a different depth on the page. Where is your favorite environment to explore?
Play a Game
It doesn’t matter what game, you could go play heads-up-seven-up or log some time on your favorite video game. Whatever you choose, the point of this aspect is to let your mind relax. Don’t let the writing process overwhelm your mind and consume every waking thought. Give yourself permission to have healthy distractions. I don’t know about you, but I play Pokemon when my brain’s fried from a hard writing session, or just a hard day. If you like to play monopoly (which casts a divide amongst many family members), then do that. Whatever you do, have fun. Playing games stimulates your brain differently because it’s an interactive form of entertainment. Engaging your brain in different ways can help your mental health and develop new problem-solving skills, depending on the games you play. And playing sports, even if just throwing a ball in the yard, works the body and the mind. What’s your favorite game to unwind with?
I will not push that you need to work out every day, drink protein, and indulge in a supplement led life, but I do highly recommend that you keep moving. If you lead a more sedentary lifestyle, try to get some movement in your day. Whatever that movement is depends on you, your body, and what you’re wanting to do. Take a walk around the block, at your local park, or through the store. Do some yoga, or my favorite, hot yoga, and stretch out your muscles. Getting the increased blood flow through your body and brain can heighten your mental awareness. Take some time out of your day and give it to your body, whatever it needs to be the best body it can for you. I like to exercise every other day, but on the days my AS flares up, I settle for making my step count. And some days, the best you can do is the best you can do.
As authors we get stuck in our imagery of what the life should be like and forget that every writer’s life is different. I dream of entire days spent writing while the words flow onto the page. But in reality, many of us have our responsibilities to take care of, and our lives to live. Don’t forget to live the fun parts of life and take care of yourself as you work on your novels, short stories, poems, or other creative disciplines. Respect your time, your priorities, and your life. While you’re a writer, you’re also human and have needs that others may not understand. When you hit those tough points in the writing process, check in with your life and make sure you haven’t forgotten to live while you write.
Thank you again for reading. Check in next week for a writing process check-in. This will be the first time I’ve done a post like this, so we’ll see how it goes. As always, stay fresh, my nugs.
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