How I’m finding my muse again

I’ve had a tough time getting back to my writing routine since completing my recent consulting job. While consulting I did manage to write a journal entry almost everyday, but that was the extent of my writing practice. Besides the grueling proposal work I lived out-of-town in a hotel and ate bland uninteresting food – for about four months. I had hardly anytime to do anything else besides work. There were no muses in that hotel room, believe me.

unhappymuseThe first thing I did when I got home was sleep. I napped several times a day for two weeks, until I finally felt like myself again. Although I worked out in the early mornings as usual, not long after breakfast I needed my first nap.

Finally I started to look for something to kick-start my writing, to bring back my muse.

I had put my list of poetry prompts into my Dropbox folder so I’d have it handy while I was away, but I never once opened that file. I didn’t even update it with the prompts that came by email every Wednesday. So that was where I started. I updated the list with the latest prompts and little by little I began writing some short poems. I also wrote a few blog posts and will write a guest piece about journaling this week. It seems like I’m inching back into my writing life slowly, slowly, slowly.

By the way, the prompts come from Robert Lee Brewer, a senior editor at “Writer’s Digest.” He’s the guy who also runs the November and April poem a day challenges that I’ve participated in for several years.

Here’s a few prompts that helped get me going:

Write an alert poem. People can be alert; they can alert others to situations; and, of course, they can put out an alert to whatever. Some alerts come with bells, whistles, and alarms; others are quiet. And alerts are not restricted to people; animals are often alert to the dangers and opportunities around them on a daily basis.

After weeks
I finally feel alert,
ready to go
ready to write
ready to get my life
as I like it
back together.
It makes me happy
to let my fingers move here
on the keyboard
as if alerting me
I still have it in me
to put words down
on the page.

Write an open poem. The poem could be about physically opening something: a garage door, a bottle of soda, or your mouth. The poem could also go the metaphorical route of opening a can of worms or Pandora’s box. Or if you’re into golf or tennis, writing about the U.S., French, or British Opens is permitted fine. It’s all open to interpretation, I guess.

I write memoirs
I read memoirs
and I want them to be open
truthful and raw.
I don’t like stories
glossed over for effect.
I want the door of one’s soul
to be wide open
telling the whole truth
the ground truth
and nothing less.

Write a pie poem. Yes, a poem that somehow incorporates pie…or pi, since the number 3.14 inspired today’s prompt. Impossible? Not really, for some it’ll be as easy as pie, but even for those who struggle at first, I’m sure they’ll eventually get a piece of the pie as well. Who knows? Maybe someone will collect the results and display them on a pie chart.

pi images

We ate a pie with a pi symbol on the top
To celebrate pi day
It tasted as delicious as ever
but the pi put it up on a pedestal.

Pi is the number 3.14
And this year it went on to more digits
3.1415, something that won’t happen again
until the year 3015.

I wonder if anyone living then
will know about pies
and how good they taste.

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  1. […] during this heavy period of work and I’m still paying the price for that, as I described in my last blog post earlier this week. Not so with journaling. Since I’ve been home and thankfully unemployed again, I’m back to […]

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