The first week after the baby, I was in minimum mode. I fed the baby, put the baby to sleep, and put myself to sleep. I let my mom be in charge of feeding me (okay, not literally spooning things into my mouth; just fixing the food). And when I fed the baby, I just focused on him. 

The second week, I began to itch. It’s an itch that other readers and writers probably know well. It happens when you’re feeling dried out from a reading and writing drought. I’d been feeding the baby well (he gained A WHOLE POUND (on top of the nine pounds he was born with) by his two-week check-up), but I hadn’t been feeding my muse. 

So I acted. First, I moved my laptop to the couch, where I could revise one-handed while nursing. Second, I got on my library’s website and reserved the first book that sounded good to me (Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl), even though it was one I’d already read (which is sometimes better when easing yourself out of a drought). Third, the moment Hubby said, “I’m headed over to pick up tee ball stuff, need me to stop anywhere else?” (he’s coaching our five-year-old’s team), I pounced and said, “Here’s my library card! The hold shelves are on the left right as you walk in.” 

Ingrid wearing the hat she had on at the awesome concert we went to a couple years ago

Yesterday as I drove to and from the chiropractor (babies give me wrist pain), I found myself in such a great mood. I had the windows rolled down, I turned the volume way up as Ingrid Michaelson played on my ipod through the car stereo, and I sang along loudly (because her lyrics are super cool). And as I listened and sang, I had all kinds of parenthetical thoughts (sort of like this post) about my novel and writing tips I’ve been gleaning from Beautiful Creatures, etc. 

For me, that’s when I can tell I’ve been feeding the muse well: I’m happy, I want to write, and my brain feels fattened up with ideas, like the pudgy cheeks, belly and limbs of a well-fed baby. 

What about you? What inspires you toward your craft? 

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5 thoughts on “Feeding the Muse

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