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Guest Post: Amanda Pavlov- Welcoming Your Muse

Perhaps it’s the romantic in me, but I refuse to write like it’s just another chore to be checked off a list. I rely on rituals to warm up, as vital as a runner stretching before a sprint. Maybe it’s indulgent, but I consider it as crucial as a charged laptop.

I start by immersing myself in water. A shower, a swim, a walk in the rain—anything that makes it impossible write. Maybe my brain is just wired to want what it can’t have, but in the water, scenes will come to me as clearly as watching a movie.

If real water is impractical, I turn on an ambient video (YouTube is my go-to) and I meditate, imagining myself soaking in the water. Meditation is an important source of inspiration for me. It helps me practice sitting quietly and doing nothing—two things that felt impossible when I first started working on my mindfulness a few years ago.

Writing an entire book (and then revising it again and again until the things in your brain are actually on the page) can feel impossible sometimes too. That’s okay. You can do hard things!

Another tip I will offer for welcoming your muse is of the opposite variety: sit down to write, at least once a week whether you feel like it or not. I write or revise twice a day, at the same time every day, which I know is impractical for many people. It works for me because I count any words on a page—even backstory that will never survive the first draft—as writing.

Creativity, I believe, is a muscle that strengthens the more you train it. By staying in my stories as frequently as possible, I never risk forgetting where I left off, and the plot moves forward much more smoothly.

If you really cannot write—if a block too big to move has clouded your vision—then carve out time to read more often. Read your old favorites and record your favorite lines. Celebrate the imaginations of the authors you admire, and sooner than you expect, your muse will return with inspiration.

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