Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wild Woman of Queens: Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River.

My Muse Sandra Lee Schubert 2009

Feeding the Muse

When my muse is not well taken care of she gets hungry. She gets a bit angry too. It is my obligation to feed and care for her. My muse is not a pet but a living breathing part of myself that needs to be honored and nurtured, not with food, but creativity.

I am a fickle guardian, flush with ideas and then nothing for long periods of time. My task is to strike a balance between feast and famine.

Creativity does ebb and flow. We aren't at full blown creating mode all the time. There are times when we are cultivating ideas, planning them out. Then we can go full out- writing for days on end. Afterward, there is the completing process of editing our work- finalizing it. Depending on the work on hand this process could take a day for smaller work or years for larger works, like a book.

The challenge for you and me is to create a pattern of creation that is consistent. Instead of a flurry of activity and then nothing for a long stretch we create a pattern that feeds into the other. As example, I am writing this blog but also thinking about the essay I have to write. The completion feeds into the idea stage. If like me, you have smaller pieces to write, this process could happen a couple of times during a day or a week. I can be editing a story, while taking notes for a possible poem.

My aim is not to have a hungry and angry muse but one that is contently flowing with creativity. The highs and lows of creativity have provided a sense of excitement for me in the past. Now is the time to move on to a more mature form of creation.

The muse taps on my computer, close the game, email, twitter, there are low rumblings being heard. Before I hear an aggressive, "FEED ME, FEED ME", it is time get to work. Feed your muse with something healthy, solid and rich with meaning. We will all be happier for it.

Sandra's e-course leads people to be their creative best through telling their stories. She is a creative vagabond, a poet, writer who co-facilitates the Wild Angels Poets and Writers Group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own. Visit her blog: Email her sandraleeschubert(at) or @writing4life via twitter.

1 comment:

Don Zirilli said...

reading is also a big part of feeding the muse, part of the cycle of creativity that you're getting at.