She recommended following a book named The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron to find intrinsic motivation. Upon my request, she explained a first few lessons mentioned in the book. Then I told her that I read the book once, long back. She further asked whether I practised the lessons. To her disappointment, I said no. She almost snapped back by saying how I could finish the book without any practice. The book was supposed to be exercised religiously with the proper steps. And I smiled.
The above conversation took place after I told her that
“You are officially no longer my muse.”
What is Muse?
A muse is a force or a person who is an artist’s source of inspiration for their creative work.
How it works?
In my case, her any kind of presence (be it her voice, messages or in person talk) influenced my creativity in such a way that it instils an ultimate motivation and enthusiasm for developing new poem, story, video or acts.
She has been my muse ever since I started talking to her. I began opening up about my darkest fear and futuristic dream to her. All she did was listen to me irritatingly or sometimes, patiently. This comforted me and gave me a sense of direction to where I want to go.
But over the period of these two and a half years, I realized that this wouldn’t be healthy in the longer run, as I developed feelings towards her. It is probably love, despite knowing that she doesn’t feel the same way about me. So, I decided to remove her from my life as a muse. She will be just another person in my life. Trust me; it was so hard to tell her. In fact, I had to fill up the entire page before this conversation. And it will be hard in the future as well.
So, let’s figure out how to get away from Muse and find Intrinsic Motivation for your work. Or, you may want to focus on the latter. Do remember that the below suggestion may differ from person to person:
1) Empty your mind
This sounds easy but we can’t just ignore the long train of thoughts inside our brain. A simple exercise can actually help empty your mind. This is tried and tested by me.
Go to the place (eg. your room) where no one can disturb you or even see you. Take a notebook or blank papers and a pen with you. Start writing any thoughts, words or sentences that come to your mind in any language. Do not bother about it being right or wrong. Write until you’re either exhausted or out of thoughts.
Once you are done, take a deep breath and look into the void. Avoid moving too much.
At last, you read the paper.
While writing and reading let the emotions express itself through your body.
Emptying your mind is practically impossible. What this exercise does that it collects all your thoughts on a piece of paper and you are most probably free from it. Reading the written pieces could help you organize all of it. Eventually, it will allow you to experience the things in the present.
Do this 2-4 times a week according to how boggling your week has been.
The almost similar exercise was described in the book, but this is probably the advanced version of it. However, I recommend all the readers to read this excellent self-help book The Artist’s Way.
2) Write your dreams
Take a piece of paper and a pen. Write your dreams, aspirations, visions, goals, strengths and weakness. Do not fret on the ‘how’ and just pile up your ‘what’.
Make sure you complete the first exercise before you attempt for the second one.
Do this once every month.
3) Conspire to let the world show what you want
This is my favourite one. Apply this after you know a little bit about your one or many interests.
The online world has been our second planet to explore, probably the primary one for few of us. As e-marketplace and smart technology have been so capable to understand its consumer’s behaviour through footprints, it can lure you to buy the similar/related products or watch similar/related videos/photos or read the similar/related pages what we liked or went through.
We can indirectly tell the online world what we want and it will form a personalized space for you.
For example, I am interested in filmmaking. I keep using IMDB app, like movie related posts, watch/like/share/follow filmmaking and film explanation videos, read film-related articles to certain details or fun-facts, explore e-commerce sites to find filmmaking related stuffs and so on. Nowadays, I do not have to search or research a lot to find what’s new in filmmaking. I get notifications on my smartphones.
You can say that it happens to you without even consciously doing it. But here comes the second part of this exercise – choosing what not to see.
Do unfollow and avoid surfing through pages which you may not want to see. Even when some of pages or videos come on the recommended list, make sure to let them know your disinterest by clicking ‘not interested’. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. all have this option. Find it and use it for your goal.
For any out of interest things, utilize incognito mode in your browser. In short, you do not want your online footprints to be dirty.
4) Begin exploring many art forms
This is not to say that you have to have a career in the art world but you need to widen the range of your taste.
Once you are open to the diverse range of art forms and the types of forms like paintings, theatres, movies, music, novels, etc. it opens up your mind to have lots of perspectives and will enhance your intelligence. Eventually, it can help you understand yourself in a deeper level. You don’t have to force yourself to like some of the art forms after a certain period of time if it is unbearable.
You can experience its effect on your work.
5) Enjoy Solace
This may sound like a job of an introvert but, trust me, it’s therapeutic. Long back, one of my friends once told me and I quote:
“I am alone but not lonely.”
Start enjoying your company. You can begin with small things such as going to a restaurant, walk in the park or street, watch a movie alone and so on. This is the process to commence loving yourself.
I hope that the regular practices of above exercise may help find your goal and keep you motivated in achieving it. Do let me know if any other exercise you think can be useful. Write to me if it inspires you, share it in your circle.
Keep Reading Keep Humming!