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Your Muse and How To Have an Endless Supply of Ideas


Hey everyone! Happy (late) Fourth of July! I hope you all had a great day yesterday with friends and family. We did bottle rockets and had s'mores and watched fireworks. It was a lot of fun. And now onto the post for the day!
About a week ago I had the word "muse" on my mind. Whenever I think of the word muse the first thing that pops into my head are those spunky Greek ladies on the Disney movie Hercules (which happens to be one of my favorite Disney movies by the way).
Back then the Greeks had some serious respect for the muses. Especially the creative Greeks. The sculptors and painters and writers of that time. They all paid their respects and prayed to the muses for guidance. Homer even starts most of his epic poets with a prayer or a mention of the muses, making sure everyone who read his poems knew they helped him out.

Another thing that comes to mind when I think of the word muse is A.G. Howard's Splintered series. Alyssa's best friend (and crush) is Jeb and he's an artist. A master painter. Throughout the series he points to Alyssa and calls her his muse. She inspires his paintings, his art. She moves his heart and drips onto every piece of art he paints. By the last book that idea of her being his muse is a huge theme (or at least that's how I saw it). For her not to be called his muse anymore is a big thing to their relationship, a huge strain.

What I'm trying to say is that Homer saw his muse as immortal, all-powerful goddesses. Jeb saw his muse as a beautiful girl he falls for. But I don't think that a muse only exists in books and history. We all have muses, every painter and every writer. When your just starting out in your craft you have no idea what your muse is. What inspires you. What drives you. What makes you so happy and so passionate that your willing to spend hours upon hours on that one project? Wanting to get it just right? To have the right words, the right characters, the right setting, the right colors, the right everything.

Honestly, I'm still trying to figure it out but there are lots of things that inspire and drive me. A muse doesn't have to be a person. It can be a place or a thing or an idea or a theme or even just one color. It could be an author that you aspire to be like, a work of art or a certain book that you adore and have read over and over again.

A while back I tried to get to know as much as possible about my favorite authors and I found out a lot about them. And along with where they live, what they like to do when their not writing and what sort of places they like to visit, I found out something very important about being a writer. Each of them have tapped into that one thing that draws stories out of them. I know I keep referring to her but A.G. Howard is one of my favorite authors. You can also see exactly where she gets the inspiration for her stories. She likes taking walks in old graveyards and is drawn to the darker places which then inspires the slightly darker themes in her YA books.

I've found for myself that I get inspiration from pictures. Writing prompts are great and are definitely helpful but for some reason it's always a picture that sparks my imagination and brings an entire world and cast of characters into clear view. I got my inspiration from Weapon Icean from a picture. I came up with the whole Tales of the Lonely project by looking up character inspiration on Google and finding one picture that brought to life Remiel, one of my favorite characters. And strangely the latest design for Batgirl-you know the one, with the yellow doc martens?-inspired my vampire hunter Tabitha. It's almost like my eyes have a direct link into the creative, story-making part of my brain. Maybe pictures are my muse because I've never had an idea, a solid, real idea that makes me super excited and want to dash to my keyboard and write without having a picture spark that idea first.

Pictures may inspire stories but there are two other things that mix together to become my second and third muse. Two things that never fail to inspire and put a smile on my face. Superheroes (think The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and X-Men) and magical creatures (fairies, selkies, nixies, werewolves and vampires).

But what is your muse? What makes stories and characters and worlds come to life inside your mind and in your heart? Is it pictures? Writing prompts? A certain theme like love or loss? Maybe it's your love for animals or family. It could be your fondness for the outdoors or music or a person that inspires you.

Your muse could be anything and I think that it would be good if you, as an artist, as a writer, sit back and try to figure what it is that helps you to breathe life into your projects. Once you figure that out you will have an endless supply of ideas. Now that I sort of figured out that every writing project that I've felt good about, that I truly love is connected to a picture or something or other I've taken to searching Pinterest more than usual when I feel the need for some inspiration. Since figuring that out I feel like I've had an endless supply of ideas that could become real novels.

Maybe for you taking a jog or walking through nature helps to clear your mind and get those creative juices flowing. Or maybe it's just seeing that special person that brings happiness and light into your life. Or watching that one show. Or going to that one place. Or using Pinterest or Google or just sitting down and closing your eyes and letting your brain wander.

You'll learn a lot about yourself by figuring out what-or who-your muse is, what inspires you and what delights you. Not only will it help keep you on track when your on a roll but it will give you light when your having a down day.

Now go out and find your muse! Or take your time. That works too. Writing is a long journey and you're bound to learn a lot about yourself and your muse as you go through your writing life. I hope this post wasn't too messy because I had a blast writing it and I learned a lot about myself and my muse and what inspires me as I wrote it so everything just kind of jumbled into a big pile of word and this post sort of became one big rant. I hope it made sense and I hope this post inspired and helps you as a writer and as a creative person in general.

Inspiration for my vampire hunter, Tabitha

Inspiration for my superhero, Delphi. (By the talented Britt315)
Remiel inspiration without his mask.
 
Remiel inspiration with his mask.

Have a great rest of the week everyone!

What sort of things inspire you and give you ideas for characters and stories? What did you guys do for the Fourth of July? 

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