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Author Topic: Getting the Attention of One's Muse  (Read 1228 times)

KendrikDmer

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Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« on: May 09, 2014, 06:15:52 pm »
Hi all.  I'm hoping that this is being posted in the right forum. Feel free to let me know if it should be elsewhere.

I am a writer. No novels published yet, but one manuscript finished and another 2 begun.  However, I've hit that roadblock usually referred to as "writer's block."  I just don't know where to go with either plot line.  Usually, I can just sit and write away, my brain going faster than I can type.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for a way to attract a Muse to help inspire me which way to go with either book. I've though of lighting a candle and asking for Kvasir's help (Norse god of poetry).  Not sure what color candle though, or if I should include incense or other stuff.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance.
Kendrik D\'mer
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~Socrates~
"It is better to be hated for what you are, than loved for what you are not." ~Andre Gide~

Faemon

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2014, 07:11:51 pm »
Quote from: KendrikDmer;147180
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for a way to attract a Muse to help inspire me which way to go with either book. I've though of lighting a candle and asking for Kvasir's help (Norse god of poetry).  Not sure what color candle though, or if I should include incense or other stuff.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance.

Can you watch YouTube videos on your computer? The author of Eat, Pray, Love did a pretty interesting TEDtalk about this.

I'd interpret that as that all creativity is in part divine...we just don't notice it, until the cultural or ritual formation dissociates the creative force (in a constructive way, not all dissociation is bad, sometimes it helps to get some distance and separate natures of a thing for greater dynamic). If Gilbert considers autonomous responsibility of an artist "like trying to swallow the sun" then making real the mythology of the muses (or the geniuses, or the daemons) are like vomiting up the sun but in a good way.

Gilbride here on the forums wrote this how-to manual on a particular ritual in Irish Reconstructionism that invites divine inspiration that I found immensely helpful in the way that it's less "ingredients, method, result" and more an spot-on commentary/examination of, I think, how inspiration and creativity really operate--in cycles of experience, quiet reflection, and insight.

Perhaps the writer's block comes from either a subconscious contradiction in the premise of what you're trying to write (your subconscious already has a program running for the personality of a character, and a program running for the flow of the plot--but at this point, they contradict one another and that creates writer's block), or a lack of information (perhaps a plot MacGuffin has to drop in, but while the shape of the story forms a hole around it, you don't have the ideas to actually construct a plot MacGuffin of the proper nature.) Perhaps there wasn't a clear goal (intradiegetically) or personal motivation for getting the story told (extradiegetically).

While not particularly ritual, recognizing the cycles of experience, quiet reflection, and insight just might be able to sort that out.

I hope this generally helps, despite not being...at all Nordic. :-/
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 07:13:45 pm by Faemon »
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KendrikDmer

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 07:59:45 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;147182
Gilbride here on the forums wrote this how-to manual on a particular ritual in Irish Reconstructionism that invites divine inspiration that I found immensely helpful in the way that it's less "ingredients, method, result" and more an spot-on commentary/examination of, I think, how inspiration and creativity really operates...

I shall look at both the video and post when I'm back on my laptop.
I understand, I think, what you mean. It's kind of a feeling that since, in Norse tradition, Kvasir who brought poetry to mankind, it seems to make sense to invoke him, as it were, in such circumstances.
Just my thoughts. Thanks for the reply.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 01:33:02 am by SunflowerP »
Kendrik D\'mer
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~Socrates~
"It is better to be hated for what you are, than loved for what you are not." ~Andre Gide~

Redfaery

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2014, 10:11:04 am »
Quote from: KendrikDmer;147180
Hi all.  I'm hoping that this is being posted in the right forum. Feel free to let me know if it should be elsewhere.

I am a writer. No novels published yet, but one manuscript finished and another 2 begun.  However, I've hit that roadblock usually referred to as "writer's block."  I just don't know where to go with either plot line.  Usually, I can just sit and write away, my brain going faster than I can type.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for a way to attract a Muse to help inspire me which way to go with either book. I've though of lighting a candle and asking for Kvasir's help (Norse god of poetry).  Not sure what color candle though, or if I should include incense or other stuff.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance.


I....have had interesting experiences with my own writings. How clear are your characters to you? How long have they been around? My main two characters have become alive. I believe the magical term is "thought-form" One of them is definitely a familiar spirit right now. She inhabits a doll and a crystal, and likes to make me buy fairy stuff. (She likes fairy stuff - she's a little girl. A very clever little girl with oni blood, but still....a little girl)

I totally agree with you about feeling inspiration coming from outside. Whenever my writing is really going, I feel like Joren (the little girl) is actually dictating her story to me, including her lines. I hear her voice in my head talking to me, telling me what to say. Same goes for Silfe (the other thought form).

But I think I have more practical advice. Just let yourself take a break for a while. Try a different project. Work on a different form of art. Ride through it. I'm blocked right now purely because of time constraints. So I feel you.
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

KendrikDmer

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 11:39:32 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;147223
I....have had interesting experiences with my own writings. How clear are your characters to you? How long have they been around? My main two characters have become alive. I believe the magical term is "thought-form" One of them is definitely a familiar spirit right now. She inhabits a doll and a crystal, and likes to make me buy fairy stuff. (She likes fairy stuff - she's a little girl. A very clever little girl with oni blood, but still....a little girl)

I totally agree with you about feeling inspiration coming from outside. Whenever my writing is really going, I feel like Joren (the little girl) is actually dictating her story to me, including her lines. I hear her voice in my head talking to me, telling me what to say. Same goes for Silfe (the other thought form).

But I think I have more practical advice. Just let yourself take a break for a while. Try a different project. Work on a different form of art. Ride through it. I'm blocked right now purely because of time constraints. So I feel you.


My male protagonist is at least partially based upon myself, or at least, my ideals.  The female protagonist, his soul mate, is, as best I can explain, the embodiment of my "perfect" mate.  

My trilogy in progress is chock full of alternative lifestyles.  Polyamory, bisexuality, inter-racial relationships (though that's not as controversial as it used to be). I am quite full of ideas for that aspect of the story. I may have written myself into a corner though.  

A more direct answer to your question is that my main characters, at least, are very real to me.

My block seems to be just not knowing where to go with it.  I'm hoping that with some guidance from Kvasir and rereading what is already written, I can come up with a new direction. More emotional interactions, less war and feuding. It's intended to be a paranormal adult romance. Perhaps it needs more of the romance part.

Thanks for the outlook!
Kendrik D\'mer
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~Socrates~
"It is better to be hated for what you are, than loved for what you are not." ~Andre Gide~

Redfaery

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2014, 10:31:51 am »
Quote from: KendrikDmer;147227
My male protagonist is at least partially based upon myself, or at least, my ideals.  The female protagonist, his soul mate, is, as best I can explain, the embodiment of my "perfect" mate.  

My trilogy in progress is chock full of alternative lifestyles.  Polyamory, bisexuality, inter-racial relationships (though that's not as controversial as it used to be). I am quite full of ideas for that aspect of the story. I may have written myself into a corner though.  

A more direct answer to your question is that my main characters, at least, are very real to me.

My block seems to be just not knowing where to go with it.  I'm hoping that with some guidance from Kvasir and rereading what is already written, I can come up with a new direction. More emotional interactions, less war and feuding. It's intended to be a paranormal adult romance. Perhaps it needs more of the romance part.

Thanks for the outlook!


No "magical" advice here, but some practical. I'm not sure if I got what you're describing right, but it's very dangerous to make characters built on your own personal ideals alone. As well as you think you know them in YOUR head, they just won't come across the same to others.

My advice, again, would be to maybe work on something totally different. Try writing a character who is flawed in some way, perhaps very deeply. You'd be surprised how much you - and your audience - will connect with him/her. Trust me. Silfe is my most popular character, and he's....damaged goods. He can be cold, cruel, and manipulative, but the audience was always willing to overlook that because of how he interacts with Joren.
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Morag

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2014, 02:15:58 pm »
Quote from: KendrikDmer;147180

I am a writer. No novels published yet, but one manuscript finished and another 2 begun.  However, I've hit that roadblock usually referred to as "writer's block."  I just don't know where to go with either plot line.  Usually, I can just sit and write away, my brain going faster than I can type.

 
So, I have no magical or spiritual advice here, but I do have some mundane advice, in case you haven't tried this already.

Change up your routine. If your routine is to type up your first draft, try handwriting them (if this is a possibility for you). My best writing process is to handwrite first drafts until I'm stuck, and then type up until I'm out of handwritten things to type. I find this helps work out the kinks, and I can handwrite again.

But, sometimes I get stuck with handwriting first, or it just doesn't feel right, or whatever...so I type first, and the act of changing that routine will knock lose the cobwebs, so to speak.

Other bits of your routine you can change: the time you write, the place you write, what you eat or drink before writing.... Sometimes it can be as simple as a change of scenery to unlock those gates.

Good luck!
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Chatelaine

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2014, 09:58:19 am »
Quote from: KendrikDmer;147180
Hi all.  I'm hoping that this is being posted in the right forum. Feel free to let me know if it should be elsewhere.

I am a writer. No novels published yet, but one manuscript finished and another 2 begun.  However, I've hit that roadblock usually referred to as "writer's block."  I just don't know where to go with either plot line.  Usually, I can just sit and write away, my brain going faster than I can type.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for a way to attract a Muse to help inspire me which way to go with either book. I've though of lighting a candle and asking for Kvasir's help (Norse god of poetry).  Not sure what color candle though, or if I should include incense or other stuff.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance.

 
Have you attempted NaNoWriMo? It's a challenge to write a 50K word novel in 30 days, held every year in November. It's not about creating a perfectly turned out manuscript (the first draft of anything is crap), but about silencing the inner editor and just churning out the wordage. Polishing can wait. The brain behind the endeavour, Chris Baty, has written No Plot? No Problem!, which is a useful, as well as funny, guide to making it to the deadline.

I find that waiting for the muse to appear only lengthens any blocking issues. Muses need practice. A lot of professional writers just crank out a certain amount of wordage per day, rain or shine. It may all end up dumped, but it keeps the writing muscles working.
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Selenography

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 07:48:02 pm »
Quote from: KendrikDmer;147227

My block seems to be just not knowing where to go with it.  I'm hoping that with some guidance from Kvasir and rereading what is already written, I can come up with a new direction. More emotional interactions, less war and feuding. It's intended to be a paranormal adult romance. Perhaps it needs more of the romance part.

Thanks for the outlook!


Hi! I am a published writer (though not a published novelist) and witch, so your struggle is definitely familiar to me.  One thing that has helped me a lot in the past is divination.  I've done tarot readings for my characters before and things like that. I have even used a Ouija board to contact the subconscious part of myself that is working on the story.

I have a ton more ideas but don't know how they rate as far as being in touch with the muse. I've come to accept my muse is always with me and around me, manifesting in often curious ways, so I try not to split hairs over where good ideas come from. But I can understand wanting to be in touch with one's muse.

The last thing that I will suggest is that from a writerly perspective, you may be clinging a bit too tightly to control over your characters (or, rather, the illusion that you can control them).  I would recommend a ritual where you set your characters free and remind then that they have their own agency and personalities and you will listen to them.  Once the characters are the ones doing the talking, amazing things can happen.

Good luck.

Leirion

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Re: Getting the Attention of One's Muse
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2014, 08:22:12 pm »
Quote from: KendrikDmer;147180


Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance.

 
Chiming in with another mundane idea!

I've hit an artist's block lately, and have been in a writer's block for months. I think, for me, it's an overall creative block.

I recently started a book I've had people recommend to me off and on the past decade, called "The Artist's Way". I can't vouch for it, yet, since I just barely started myself. But it looks really promising, and it supposedly connects the spiritual with creativity.

Magically speaking, sometimes, when I'm writing, I will light a candle for Hermes for guidance. So your idea of contacting Kvasir seems sound to me.

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