16 Steps for Planning and Writing Your Script: Step 3
Step 3: Finding your muse
I hope that we are still journaling.
This is our 3rd step at this and if you have been committed to sitting down everyday up to this point and writing down something, anything, then you deserve a pat on the back.
We are defined by what we do and not by what we say. If we are wrtiers then we must write!
We don’t write when we find time; we make time! We don’t write when we get inspired; we write to find inspiration. The “muse” is not something that comes over us magically. Our muse will come to us when we call it and we call it by sitting down everyday and writing.
There are many who believe that you have to be born to write well. To a degree, this seems to be the case as there are those whose skills at writing seem to verge on that of being superhuman, Dickens and Shakespeare are a couple that come to mind. However, for the rest of us, it’s not a question as to how good we are at birth, the real question is how much better we CAN BE with practice.
There is no skill or discipline on this planet that remains static and does not improve with consistent application, so why would writing any different?
We improve with practice and a commitment to improve and the only way we do this is by ingraining it as a habit in our lives. If you fell off the horse yesterday or the day before, no worries. Just get back on, open your laptop or notebook and get back on–don’t give up!
Today, I want you to journal but I also want you to think about what you’ve already journaled. Sometimes, a story can come from asking “what if?” So, as you look at your writing, ask yourself that simple question; “What if?”
You’d be surprised at how this question can spur your creative juices. Write down any idea that pops in your head, anything. As I’ve said in a previous blog, don’t worry about trying to think linearly or make any kind of order of these random thoughts right now. The puzzling out of these ideas will come once a definitive idea comes out of these notes. You’ll know when it does, because you will feel compelled to focus on this idea and that’s when we’ll begin focused brainstorming for this idea alone.
Inspiration comes from everywhere and this is why you should be exposing yourself to a variety of sensual, intellectual, and imaginative stimuli. This is why I am always reading a book. Books and movies are really my thing, both are literature but just in different mediums.
I read everything, from magazines, to classic literature (my favorite reading), to books on psychology and sociology, animal behavior, old encyclopedias, biographies and autobiographies, history, literature on UFO conspiracies, newspapers–everything.
I’ve found that once I focus on a single idea, whether I am awake or asleep, my subconscious mind–or what is referred to as my “muse”– will automatically go about refining and developing that idea from whatever I expose it to.
The conscious act of writing and thinking engages the power of the subconscious to attract ideas corresponding to our desires from a variety of unlikely sources. This is why it is important to engage with things that make you THINK.
Like I said, my way of invoking my muse is through reading, conversation, and watching film. Yours may be different. But the point is to expose yourself to different things. This could also include situations that you ordinarily avoid. Stimulation is often most powerful when we discover things within ourselves being unlocked by the act of leaving our comfort zones.
This concludes Step 3 of our lifelong writing journey. Just 4 more steps before we begin focusing on a single idea and begin our brainstorming. If there are any specific questions you have or a comment you’d like to add feel free to do so.
I look forward to hearing from you and I’ll see you next time.