The Mystery of the Muse

As an artist of many mediums, I am fascinated by the creative process… how it works, when it doesn’t work and how to get it started. For help, I turn to Eric Maisel, author of “Fearless Creating” and numerous other coaching books. He knows the territory.

Recently, I revisited his list of affirmations and read them to my writing buddy, Kelly. We have been getting together almost every Friday morning for a year and sharing writing, feedback and inspiration. Kelly is also my cheerleader, and encouraged me to enter the world of blogging. So when I shared the list, she had an idea: work with one affirmation each week and write about the process. Brilliant! Then we will link to each others’ blogs and widen the conversation.

Week one is about relishing ideas and I have been stalking my days with Sherlockian diligence, hoping to solve the mystery of creativity… or at least gather some clues.

What does it mean to relish ideas?

 My 1944 Winston Dictionary defines relish as “a taste or preference; fondness; liking; eager appreciation; zest”. I like the idea of combining ideas with zest, but how do I do that?

The first clue I uncover is this: provide an environment in which ideas thrive… a petri dish life with plenty of resting places. I’m not talking about napping. I’m talking about wide awake attention… watching what I’m drawn toward and savoring what I find.

Nature comes to mind… the smorgasbord of colors in the wetland… heron hunting a snake in my compost pile…bees poking their noses into spring blossoms. How does the morning light transform the valley of green? How does the heron move, or not move. as she listens for prey? To relish ideas is to focus on my fondness of nature and gather details for future poems.

The built environment also inspires me. Especially old buildings with intricate embellishments and old barns with wind worn and sun bleached siding. These structures tell stories, and if I’m listening well, I can pass those stories on in the form of paintings or handmade books. I relish the textures and shapes and imagine printing them on fabric and covering boxes or pillows.

And then there is the full moon, illuminating my bedroom as it touches the treetops across the valley, then falling behind them. I lie awake, remembering the large yellow orb on the horizon and the moon becomes a metaphor, which will become another poem.

After a week of relishing ideas, I am pleasantly full of them and ready for the next clue. You can read about Kelly’s experience here. And I invite you to share your own discoveries by commenting below. What surprising places do you find ideas? How does your eager appreciation make its way into your creativity? Does relishing ideas give you zest?

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2 Responses to The Mystery of the Muse

  1. Kelly says:

    Beautiful imagery to relish and wonderful inspiration for consideration. I’m eager to see where they will appear in your future work!

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