The way I understand it so far, How To Think Sideways is a class to help you get in touch with your Muse, to train your Muse to give you ideas when you need them, rather than sitting idly, waiting for inspiration to strike (which hasn’t worked for me so well most of the time.) The lesson I’m on now is a start to this. The exercise is to come up with 3 ideas, unique to me, in a week. There was a line for us to write in our notebooks telling our Muse what we need, then we are to let it go until our Muse gives us something. I was a little worried about meeting the deadline, as my Muse only talks to me sporadically.
I posted a message about this to my workgroup for the course, and while I was typing it I referred to my Muse as “she” for the first time ever. I’ve never had any solid feeling for whether my Muse is male or female (or other), so I’m happy about this breakthrough. Now I at least know my Muse is a female. I’m hoping in time she’ll reveal more about herself to me, so I can “talk” to her better and be more in touch with her.
Also, Monday night as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, my Muse hit me with an idea. The exercise includes saying yes, no, or maybe to any ideas, but to not write anything down until we have a fully formed story in our heads. So I said yes to this idea, and asked more questions about it where I wasn’t sure about the why or how, then went to sleep. On the drive to work Tuesday, my Muse answer my questions, and I had a fully formed short story in my head. As soon as I got to my desk I pulled out my mini Moleskine that I always keep in my purse and wrote it down.
I’m hoping for more inspiration before Sunday, since I still need 2 more story ideas.
I’ve done a bunch of editing on the secret project, written in my journal every day save 1 this week so far, and read the first week of The Artist’s Way. Now I shall work on the exercises for the week. I think doing that alongside How To Think Sideways is really going to help me get in touch with my Muse. I also set dates for all my writing goals to give me something solid to work towards, and edited my Writing Year 2011 post with the dates and list them in order of date by which I want to complete them.