Luring Back Your Muse

By: C. M. Clifton

How often has this happened? You have finally found time to try to pen poetry, but words elude you. You have a quiet spot to yourself, at last, but no matter what, your writer's block persists. Your muse has taken a holiday, leaving a less than inspired writer without the poetic sights, sounds, and textures so desired by a poet's pen. How, then, can a muse be lured back? Here are a few suggestions that I hope will be helpful.

Read your favorite poems, both your own and those of your favorite poets, or branch out and read poets you have never read. If you enjoy reading and writing traditional poems, mostly, then maybe try reading and writing free verse poems.

Experiment with poetic forms. The Internet can be a treasure trove, in this respect. Many poetic forms can be discovered online. Being a member of Writing.Com has also exposed me to poetic forms that I had never known of before. Which brings me to the next suggestion: join a writing community. Becoming a member of a writing community can help spark ideas, expose you to those various poetic forms, and, perhaps, keep you motivated to write. Poetry challenges and contests can assuage your muse, and lure your muse back to fill you with poetic inspirations.

Another fun thing to do is visit your favorite haunts, making sure you have pen and pad in hand. A friend of mine even once referred to himself as "Starbucks Poet." If you’re not quite in the mood for your usual hangouts, then try some place new. A couple of my own favorite places of inspiration are the lake and the riverfront.

Recently, I have also become inspired by artwork. Consider visiting the museum. A day at the museum can prove enjoyable even if you don’t end up inspired enough to pen verses. I also have fun perusing artwork on The Internet. Even avatars have a tendency to spark ideas. Family photo albums can be just as fruitful, although I usually ended up filled with laughter rather than poetic infusions when it came to my family’s photographs. Another fun exercise involves engaging what’s called “Your Third Eye," or your “Mind’s Eye." Try seeing beyond what is on the surface, or try writing from a different point of view. Try seeing things from a child’s eyes, for example. I once tried this while staring at a wall and before long my imagination was in full swing. Imagine what fun it would be to write a wacky poem about spiders and cobwebs from a kid’s point of view just to get your mind in motion and your pen moving.

The next best source of inspiration can be what I call a “living, breathing muse." Family, friends, significant others—they all can be great inspiration as living, breathing muses. If there’s a poetry group in your hometown, then joining can be a fun kick to your muse also. Make new friends, and get constructive criticism for your poems in the process.

So, if you enjoy writing poetry but suddenly find yourself uninspired, try these suggestions. Hopefully, your muse will return with more inspiration than you can handle. While I have geared these suggestions toward poetry writing, I hope writers might be able to apply them to their writing, in general, if ever faced with writer's block.

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