I’m sure you’ve seen some version of this lop-sided graph somewhere online. It makes me chuckle each time I see it. While my speaking a writing may be about even, it really is that darn wandering night-time mind that is so powerful.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been almost asleep and the wand brimming over with tiny droplets of writing perfection gets waved in my face.
Oh the brilliance….
The poetic wonders that pulse through my twisted writer brain pleading for attention and life…
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, it also happens in the shower, when I’m driving, or (dare I say) when I’m in conversation sometimes. Oops!
Here’s the thing, those thoughts are my own and come from within so where the hell do disappear to? That’s the problem… those dang little scally-wags vanish as soon as I attempt to write them down or form a reasonable plot to make sense.
There’s a stage of consciousness that occurs just between sleep and awake. (This is when you’re falling asleep not waking up).
It’s called hypnagogia, where the state of your thoughts can be in heightened and imaginative. It’s similar to a trance state of hypnoses and can help some enter a place of increased creativity.
This short period of time before REM sleep takes over is when the brain can still hear and is ultra aware.
I used to sometimes get to that state with my characters. It took a lot of focus and concentration but I can block all else out and concentrate solely on them, their voices, their mannerisms. It’s an extraordinary sensation in that it feels like suspended reality. In doing this, I would “talk” to my characters and get to know them on a different level. I know, I know… it sounds weird, I never claimed to be anything else.
You can read more HERE.
In the article it states that some writers keep themselves sleep deprived in hopes of reaching that state of hypnagogia.
As writers, we use our brains in so many ways as we observe, we illustrate, and we dig deep to create. Sleep, or near sleep, can stimulate or release those stories within you but I think you could also use concentration and meditation.
Have you ever written something only to reread it and wonder where it came from? That feeling of something coming through you and onto the page without your conscious thought. That powerful feeling is the true point of letting go and allowing your muse to take control over the formulation of words on a page.
Some people will meditate prior to writing.
Others will light a candle and deep breathe in order to relax and get rid of the daily clutter in their heads.
Still others will call forth their muse.
This can be done aloud or silently through incantation or prayer.
It is the seeking of the skill, the knowledge, and the inspiration to move forward creatively with the written word.
You can make up your own prayer, a poem, or call to whomever, or whatever, you choose.
This is your journey and it needs to work for you and assist in your quest to move forward.
Good luck. And remember, as a writer you should always have a notebook or use the notes on your phone to write things down. How many times have you said…meh, I won’t forget …
Lmao!! Yup, me too!
And if you find yourself in that state as shown by the graph, practice writing things down while you’re still in that state of mind or acknowledge that you’re neither asleep or awake and see if you can slip out of the dream to write it down or record it. Play with your conscious thought. It’s amazing what can enter into those beautiful brains when you take a break from constantly thinking.
What do you do to prepare yourself for a writing session? What works best for your creativity. I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below. Thanks.
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3 thoughts on “How do You Tap into Your Creative Muse or Does She Only Show up When You’re Falling Asleep?”
Great article! I’ve had more than one creative idea come forth in moments like those!
Hey Lacy! Welcome. Thanks for the kind words. Don’t you love those times when it all starts to come together and you can grab it. I too get those special times and try to hang on to them. Thanks so much for commenting . Don’t be a stranger. xoxo