10 Steps to a Better Relationship With Your Muse


You and your muse. It’s a complicated relationship. You can’t know what to expect from her. She can be up and eager to help. She can be sullen and down. She’s there. She’s not. What can you do to improve your relationship? Here are 10 quick and easy steps:

Listen to her.
Maybe she’s pulling you into new territory outside your comfort zone. Are you willing to go? You’ve heard the expression Mother knows best. Muses know best, too.

Give her space. For goodness sake, allow the girl time to think! Muses don’t appreciate constant demands. Give her some space, and when she’s ready she’ll come back with loads of inspiration.

Give her what she wants. If you’ve paid attention to your muse, you already know what inspires her to inspire you. Give her what she wants: a walk in the park, a little music, quiet contemplation, time to play . . . .

Give her something new. Your muse might be bored. So, shake things up a little! Break from your regular writing routine and try something new.

Feed her. You’ve stored up a lifetime of experiences for your muse to chew on. Don’t hold back. If you share them with her, she’ll reward you tenfold.

Clean her room. Muses like things tidy. If your writing space is messy, don’t be surprised if instead of whispering sweet words of inspiration your muse shouts, “Let’s get this place cleaned up!”

Cartoon+of+the+Day-MuseSet her free. Your muse exists to provide you with inspiration. That can’t happen when your inner editor forever interrupts her. Kill the editor! (You can rewrite him into your story later.)

Take her with you. Muses love to travel. Wherever you go, take her along. Encourage your muse to open her senses to her surroundings. (Bonus tip: Have a notebook and pen handy to jot down all her brilliant observations.)

Start the day with a workout. Join your muse in fifteen minutes of writing exercises. Create a paragraph, a list, freewrite, brainstorm . . . . The Internet is rife with writing exercises for you and your muse. All you need to do is Google.

Begin without her. Muses are habitually late, so, start without her. Just write! Although they are often tardy, muses are also extremely loyal. Trust her to show up exactly when you need her.

And, in case you didn’t know, muses are not gender specific. They can be female or male—case in point this from the contemporary poet, Lang Leav:



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Which Famous Author Was Born on the Fourth of July?

hNathaniel Hathorne, the American writer best known for penning The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables, was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. (And no, I didn’t misspell his name.)


Hathorne’s great-great-grandfather was the only judge during the time of the Salem witch trials, and Nathaniel’s checkered family past haunted him so greatly that he added at “w” to his last name to separate himself from any association with his grandfather.

When in his thirties, Hawthorne helped found an agricultural commune near Boston. Thinking that farm life would provide him with peace, quiet and plenty of time to write, he soon discovered farming is hard work. Nathaniel shoveled manure, milked cows and baled hay. He left the farm after only a few months, hands blistered and explaining that readers couldn’t expect pretty stories from a man who feeds pigs.

The-Old-Manse-Concord-MAHe was no stranger to other legendary authors of his time. Hawthorne attended college with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and he lived in houses once owned by two other famous authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The Old Manse” and also the childhood home of Louisa May Alcott. When Nathaniel and his family moved into “Old Manse” another friend, author Henry David Thoreau, planted a vegetable garden for them.

14_franklin_pierce-1The 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce, was also a longtime friend. The two met in college and remained friends for the rest of Hawthorne’s life. In fact, it was Pierce who found the author dead in 1864.

Nathaniel was in the final stage of what might have been stomach cancer when the former President suggested the two of them take a trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Pierce thought the mountain air might help Nathaniel feel better. On their first night in New Hampshire, Hawthorne ate a light supper of tea and toast and went to bed early. Pierce checked on his friend during the night and discovered that he had died in his sleep.

NHawthorneGraveLongfellow and Emerson were among those who served as pallbearers at Nathaniel Hawthorne’s burial in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (Concord, Massachusetts). His wife, Sophia, and their three adult children survived the author: Julian Hawthorne, like his father, worked as a writer. Nathaniel’s daughters, Una and Rose, both became Catholic nuns. Rose Hawthorne was a leader in her order and took the name Mother Mary Alphonsa. She dedicated her service to helping patients with incurable cancers. She died in 1926 and was buried on the grounds of her order’s Motherhouse. In 2003 Rose was nominated for sainthood. Julian died in San Francisco in 1934.

After Nathaniel’s death, Sophia and MMD2625-LUna moved to London and were buried there after they died. 142 years passed before the Hawthorne family made news again, in 2006, when the bodies of Sophia and Una were moved from their graves in England and reburied next to the famous author.

us-flags-vectorsSo . . . .
if conversation lags during your Independence Day celebrations,

you can share these facts about
Nathaniel Hawthorne,
American author,
and tell your friends:
“He was born on the Fourth of July!”



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