• January 14, 2010
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Motivate the Muse by Cozy Mystery Author Kim Smith

We have a special guest blogger today. Kim Smith, author of the cozy mystery novel, Buried Angel, is here to tell us how she…motivates the muse!

Motivate the Muse

by Kim Smith

Recently, I hosted a free workshop called Jumpstart the Muse. It was a lot of fun, and I think the attendees got something out of it. I figured what the heck, might as well tell you all what happened.

First, I had them give me a list of why they were there to take the workshop, and most all of them had some reasons that we all face. They were: absent inspiration, boredom, creative dementia, and detail under-load. In other words, they didn’t have the inspiration to make the perspiration.

I really think this is a common problem with us writers today. We work at so many things, and we desperately want to write, but when we sit down to get to it, we either get another interruption, or we just stare at the white screen and get depressed.

My workshop was designed to give writers the GOOD NEWS that they are not helpless in this situation. We are the motivation BEHIND the inspiration! We, literally speaking, are the MUSE.

So, some of you will not believe me, right? You’ll say, oh no, without my creative side working, I cannot write a word. Well, try this exercise and see if you still think so.

  1. Get yourself some index cards, of differing colors.
  2. On each color, write a word at the top, whatever you so desire, I did this and I wrote “Sounds” “Smells” “Touches” “Sights” “Tastes”—now that means I had five colors, and each color would represent each of these items. Now you try it, but you do not have to do what I did. Try for other stuff, like, “Romance” “Mystery” “Suspense” “Anger” “Sadness” or any other you would like.
  3. Now, that you have your collection of cards by color, start with one. Let’s assume you wrote “Anger” – now go out and think of a situation that made you so angry you could kill someone. Write that story on that card under ANGER. Did you feel the anger resurface? Reread what you wrote and be sure and make me, the reader, feel that anger just like you felt it. Did your face turn red? Did you cry? Make me mad!
  4. Okay, now, do something like that for each of those cards. If you wrote “Mystery” at the top, you might just simply say “The day my car died was a mystery to everyone”. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It just has to tweak your thoughts for writing something.
  5. Once you have your cards, and your “muse tweaker” titles, go for it! Keep a card file for all your little thoughts and big thoughts. You never know when this will turn out to be something to use in a book, or as an article piece.

Oh yeah, and when you finish this exercise, try telling me you didn’t have anything to write!

Kim Smith is the hostess for the popular radio show, Introducing WRITERS! Radio show on Blog Talk Radio. She is also the author of the zany, Shannon Wallace mystery series available now from Red Rose Publishing. You can visit Kim’s website at www.mkimsmith.com.

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