When Emily asked me to write for her blog I was thrilled. However, soon enough I realized that I had no idea what to write about, since none of my ideas really resonated with me. That’s when it hit me: The struggle to find inspiration is exactly what so many of us face eveeryday. I hope that this little guide to becoming your own muse will offer you some new perspectives on how to overcome a lack of inspiration, and how to value your ideas and yourself a little more.
First things first: What is a muse?
The word muse is not entirely unproblematic. In Greek mythology muses were believed to be goddesses, powerful representatives of different artistic disciplines and sources of inspiration. Throughout history, the muse keeps being referenced by authors, poets and painters. In the literary context, there are many tales of how women have inspired great novels, characters and other texts. That being said, it is quite obvious that the trope of the muse is tied to some problematic aspects such as objectification of the female body and exploitative power dynamics between men and their respective muses. Which is why I think that becoming your very own muse and source of inspiration can be an interesting way of reclaiming this trope in a positive and empowering way.
Treat all your ideas with respect
Remember the times in school when you were afraid of saying something wrong or being laughed at for your ideas? Stop right there! From a young age on we learn to limit ourselves and our ideas into right and wrong. Even when you’re older, you’ll notice how you’ll interrupt your own creative processes, because something might not be “good enough”.
Treat your idea with respect, no matter how ridiculous they may appear in the beginning. Not every one of your ideas will be brilliant, but they might as well become brilliant with time!
● Be open to criticism from yourself
Your first idea might not be the best, but maybe the fourth or fifth is amazing. Don’t throw away a thought, just because the first draft of it isn’t perfect. You can work on your ideas or use them as inspiration for something new. Also, give your ideas time. Sometimes you just need a different day or different perspective to see that it’s actually not that bad!
● Whether you use a journal or your notes app…
…write everything down that inspires or intrigues you. That can be a quote, a picture in your schoolbook, a dream. Remember: Author Mary Shelley came up with the idea for Frankenstein through a dream she had and only wrote it down because she made a friendly bet with friends to see who could come up with the best horror story!
● Morning Pages
This is a concept where you fill an entire page with thoughts as soon as you wake up. Just write down whatever comes through your mind, but try to do it everyday and immediately after you get up. This practice will help your creative self, even if you’re not a writer. Something I also find interesting is to just ask your friends for a random word, name or feeling. Go from there and practice building stories, poems, paintings around this word.
● Organize your ideas
So, you’ve collected thoughts, phrases, words, lines from books. Now try to organize them and see if you find a pattern in it. Maybe it becomes clearer now, what actually is of interest to you and what inspires you the most.
Fall in love with the little things
Fall in love with the world. Fall in love with yourself. The world is constantly changing, try to stay curious and fascinated by it. Remember that iconic “plastic bag in the wind”-scene from American Beauty? Well, that was pretty cheesy, but also kind of genius. There are so many little moments that can become a source of inspiration. But not just out in the world, learn to also romanticise yourself.
Selflove is a difficult topic, because as positive as it is, it can also lead to an immense kind of pressure. That’s why I’d recommend starting with just little things. How would you describe yourself in a novel? Would you talk about your adorable freckles or cute acne scars? Would you point out how caring you are, how perfect you can apply winged eyeliner? It doesn’t matter how big or little the thing is. You may end up being more fascinated by your own amazing self than you ever thought possible.
Borrow from yourself
It’s amazing to be inspired by others, whether on Pinterest, Instagram, by a certain author or painter. But it’s also pretty fun to be inspired by and borrow from yourself. I personally like to recreate my own pictures every now and then. I borrow my own ideas – but make them new, different and maybe even better. This can be applied to basically anything! It gives you a new perspective on your own ideas and it can just be a lot of fun to recreate something of your own and play with it. Have fun!
Keep on creating
All of this being said, remember that you do not need to create anything for others. It doesn’t matter if your ideas never leave the realm of your bullet journal or if you collect your photographs just for yourself. The act of creating is what is important. After all, we’re all in this together (cue High School Musical song), learning everyday.
I hope this little guide offered you some new perspectives on how to love your amazing creative self more and how to find inspiration not just in others, but in yourself.
Lots of love- Karuna
follow Karuna on Instagram: @hellayaruna
the entire credit to this article and its photos goes to karuna aka hellayaruna