Okay, so a Twelve Step Program for writers isn't the most original idea on the web. There are others, some funny, some even less clever than mine. But as I got to thinking about this idea, I think it has some usefulness. It can provide a focus and I am a firm believer in communicating with your muse. It took me a long time to understand this concept, steeped as it is in poetic mystery. Years ago it seemed the benevolent muse was the province of the male artist, but then I began to notice that certain people set off a spark in me. When I was around them, ideas burgeoned, energy and enthusiasm fueled my writing. I've long been inspired by music and sometimes a particular piece will attach itself to my work. Sometimes when I get bogged down in my Irish novel, certain traditional songs will bring it back to life. Rituals work for writers, sometimes rooms or views seem to lift us out of a torpor and get us working again. Your muse is whatever inspires you, encourages you. As a sandtray coach, I believe in the power of images to stir up the psyche. Today, my muse is a treasure chest full of inspiration, belief in myself and energy. Feel free to use this image or find your own Muse to help you do the thing you want to do. Write. Use these twelve ideas to keep you tethered to your writing space, your creativity, your muse.
Twelve Step Program to a Daily Writing Practice:
It works if you work it; anything works if you work it
1. Admit you are powerless over inertia; that your writing life has become unmanageable
2. Accept that a consistent writing practice of at least 15 minutes a day can restore you to sanity
3. Make a decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of your Muse as you understand her/him for at least 15 minutes a day
4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of your negative and damaging writing beliefs
5. Admit to your Muse, to yourself and to another human being the exact nature of your negative approach to your writing life
6. Become entirely ready to have your Muse remove all these thinking and behavioral defects
7. Humbly ask the Muse to remove your shortcomings, for at least 15 minutes a day
8. Make a list of all characters and writing projects you have ignored, abandoned, harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all
9. Make direct amends to such entities wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others (don’t fix what ain’t broke)
10. Continue to take personal inventory and when you are wrong promptly admit it (never hurts, whether or not you are a writer)
11. Seek through communion with your Muse and your writing support community to improve your conscious contact with your Muse as you understand her for a minimum of 15 minutes a day, praying only for knowledge of her/his will for you and the power to carry that out
12. Having had a creative awakening as the result of these steps, try to carry this message of daily writing to other suffering and blocked writers, and to practice these principles in all your creative endeavors.