Thirty in Thirty Day 7
Since beginning Thirty in Thirty last week and using the prompts provided by Story A Day ( storyaday.org), I have been in what creative folks: artists, musicians, writers, call “flow.” Flow is when the work, whether it is painting, composing, or writing, becomes almost effortless . For me, personally, flow is when I stop feeling as if I am wrestling and wringing the words from my brain and instead experience something akin to taking inspired dictation from an unseen source. Folks often refer to this unseen source as “the muse.”
It is fun to visualize an imaginary muse who comes down fairy godmother-like and bestows images, words, and stories from her magic wand. In my mind’s eye I picture my muse as a sort of wildish peddler laden with packages, bird-cages, bundles, junk, and carpet bags from which she extracts skeins of words strung like colorful strands of yarn that she kindly parcels out to me with a mischievous wink and smile.
This is an entertaining inspirational image, but in actuality the muse is a fiction. The truth is that flow comes from intention, time, accountability, and preparation. I have experienced flow this past week because I embraced each of these. By choosing to participate in Story A Day, I set my intention to write each day and I have set aside the time to do so. By posting my daily writing on my blog and linking it to Facebook, I am making myself accountable. I prepared physically for the flow by buying new notebooks and pens and cleaning and reorganizing my studio. I prepared mentally by engaging in a great deal of wide-range reading of fiction and non-fiction, reviewing my notes and scribbles in my journals, and taking myself on Artist Dates to “fill the well.”
So when I started last Friday I was committed, prepared, and ready for the “muse” to show up because I showed up. The key to “wooing the muse” and getting to flow can be expressed in two words. Show up. Show up. Show up. When you do that consistently and with intention, magic happens.
Here is a quick rendering of the muse I described above. I\used watercolor collage, fibers, ink, paper, and colored pencils to create my muse. I call her Inspirata. I am planning to continue working on her and will post the completed version at a later date.