There’s nothing more gratifying, as a writer, than when the creative juices are flowing like a never ending bottle of heated massage oil in the willing hands of Cristiano Ronaldo. Mmmmm ... Cristiano!
The words spill onto the page as characters and plots dance and sing themselves into writing nirvana. On the flip side, writer’s block sucks. Big time. Its suck-power can only be rivalled by Linda Lovelace. It’s the suckiest suck-suck ever.
Staring at am empty computer screen is not only frustrating, it’s scary as well because what if the wordy-magic has disappeared? What if this isn’t a phase or a temporary setback? What if I never write anything ever again? Not even a Christmas card? Arrrrgggghhhhhhh!
We’ve all experienced this, right? Terrifying periods of time when the words won’t come, and those that do would be thrashed in a writing competition by a fourth-grader. Yeah, you know it, even as they fill the screen the little voice in your head is saying ‘WTF is this crap?’
However, as a writer, a creator, have you ever questioned the source of your inspiration?
For centuries writers have referred to the concept of the Muse, either as a source of inspiration or requesting to be a vessel through which the muses’ creativity passes, implying that the work is a product of the muse, not the author. These writers include greats such as:
According to history, the nine muses of ancient Greece were the daughters of Zeus and his Titan lover, Mnemosyne, the goddess and personification of memory (yeah, try winning an argument against her. Not only was she a kick-ass Titan but she had the best memory in the universe ever! Zeus had no hope.) Calliope, Clio, Nelpomene, Enterpe, Erato (muse of love and erotic poetry), Terpschore, Urania, Thalia and Polymnia presided over the arts and sciences, and inspired all mankind in such pursuits.
Their function was to bestow the gift of creativity on a chosen vessel, which they then continued to bless in the quest for artistic bliss. Sounds good, huh?
However, pissing off a muse resulted in more than just writer’s block. The poet Thamyris was struck blind and dumb when he challenged the muses, while the nine daughters of Pierus were turned into birds for their audacity. (Mental note: don’t get sassy with the muse.)
Apollo was the Greek god of poetry. In fact, most ancient civilisations have a god or deity of poetry (from which plays, epistles and, later, novels sprouted), including the Romans, Mesopotamians, the Norse, Chinese, Egyptian and Japanese. There were muses everywhere. But where have they gone? Have they been replaced by caffeine, sugar overload and alcohol?
Has the source of your creative power (or during writer’s block your lack of creative power) ever sparked a request to a muse, the universe, your sleeping cat, your empty coffee cup or bottle of Merlot for some good writing juju? Maybe you’ve overdosed on vitamin tablets or snorted jelly crystals to get you through the trials and tribulations of blank-screenitis?
A quick survey of the Naughty Ninjas revealed that their creative juices have been stirred by newspapers, raunchy naked men, a lone house in a graveyard of property after a bushfire, reality television, movies, raunchy naked men, conversations, dreams, lost iPads, a red Ducati, raunchy and naked men, and muses that suffer ADHD and have the bad habit of buggering off mid-story. Ninja perceptiveness results in observations being stealthily stored in the subconscious and conscious mind until they weave themselves into something resembling a story or a character. There’s also raunchy naked men, did I mention that already?
So from whichever fountain of creativity your inspiration flows, whether it has a Greek name or not, chesticles, well defined biceps and quadriceps, whether it’s a raunchy naked man (seems to be a theme here), is a legal stimulant, or is found in the uninspiring packaging of a Homebrand jelly crystal box, channel it. Nurture it and get that sign ready to hang on your writing space wall...