This week’s Question gives us an opportunity to focus on our writing inspiration.I have mentioned, here and there, that my Madame Muse occasionally goes on vacation. She packs her bags that are filled with new story ideas, character names, plot twists, and next steps for existing stories before catching a flight to Parts Unknown. She turns off her mobile and refuses to answer emails. The bloodhounds rarely pick up her scent, meaning I am left to my own devices when she’s gone.However, I am thankful for my blogging friends because many of them offer writing prompts at least once a week. For example, I do my darndest to get to the weekly Visual Dare prompt, even if I don’t do anything else. Writing flash fiction (in this case, 150-word or less pieces) is my primary way to keep a basic Lo Jack on Madame Muse, whether she likes it or not.Gabriela was kind enough to share her ORACLE (outrageous ridiculously awesome creative literary exercises) that she uses to keep up her writing chops:
These contents have changed over time, but a few things have stayed constant:
- Dice: I use dice for writing exercises whenever I need to leave something up to chance. I’ll assign each number an option, then do whatever the roll decides.
- Word Box: This small box contains slips of paper with words on them. I pull a few words out of the box at random, then write a short piece that uses all those words.
- Image Box: I keep an old chocolate tin filled with photos I clipped from magazines or postcards I picked up at museums. Whenever I’m stuck for ideas, I use those images to spark a story.These are just a few things I keep in my ORACLE. I also have a paper prototype of the Writer Igniter app, a Writer Igniter deck of cards (also an early prototype for the app), a stack of fortune cookie fortunes, and a pocket-sized book of prompts.
Who, or what, is your muse? How do you tame her? What do you do to maintain a regular regimen of writing?