Muse: (noun): a source of inspiration
In Jim Scott Bell’s excellent and easily readable book, The Art of War for Writers, he talks about his new-found way of coping with a sedentary profession (writing). He says, “I bought a treadmill. It sits right here in my office, and it’s my new best friend.” After he uses it in the morning, he says he feels ready to write. And when he feels stuck on his writing, he says: “Take a nice, long walk. Don’t think about your book. Have a little notebook or recorder with you. You’ll find the “boys in the basement” sending stuff up. When they do, write it down, and keep writing.”
Stephen King notoriously uses the metaphor for his Muse, “the boys in the basement.” He, too, walks to get his Muse flowing.
Do you ever have this? In life, whatever it is you’re working on, sometimes we get stuck. There seems to be no path forward. And, I believe Jim S. Bell and Stephen King have it right. Once we start our muscles working, the brain loosens up and the Muse appears. And suddenly, the problems have solutions. Then we just have to be ready with a way to record the ideas, or they slip away…
I love to exercise — to get moving. Whether it’s my weekly Tennis doubles match with friends, a long bike ride, or a few miles on the elliptical, exercise always helps.
Here, 5 Big Benefits to Exercise (and tapping into the Muse):
1) New Ideas: it seems that we think of solutions we most need when we are not actually thinking about them. Mysteriously, exercise does this for me every time.
2) Improved Attitude: Once I’ve proven that I can lead myself, that I have accomplished something difficult, I realize the world is really full of potential.
3) Increased Energy: Numerous studies published every year talk about the benefits of energy from exercise. We can do more from doing more.
4) More productivity: When we have more energy from exercise, we can perform better at what we do.
5) Fun / Fit / Feel Better: In January 2010, I started a mileage log … and early April 2011, I passed 1000 miles. (Yay!) I’ve honestly never felt better or more fit than I have in recent years, balancing physical activity, stretching, and writing. And, the more regularly I exercise and write, the more the Muse flows.
How about you? Do you enjoy getting moving? What is your Muse of choice for getting unstuck?