Finding the Muse

Today Writing Wranglers and Warriors
welcomes a new blogger, 
David Ciambrone

 Posted by Dave Ciambrone

You will hear writers sometime say, “I can’t write right now, the muse hasn’t been with me.” They wait for the muse or the inspiration to hit in order to write. You can wait forever. Writers have also said that once they start, sometimes they will get “into the groove” and things really come, it seems to flow. Why does this happen? Is there a muse? What is the groove and how does it work?

Well, after studying hypnosis I think I have the answer. It is called self-hypnosis. There are those who don’t believe in hypnosis or think it is evil, but it isn’t. It is just an altered state of mind. Have you ever been listening to a replay of an old time radio show or listened to a book on tape in the car and you are transported into the story and you can “see” the action in your mind like a movie. Later you wonder how you got to the place you were headed and don’t remember driving? You were hypnotized. You did it yourself.

When you start to write something you are interested in, your mind gets into a state where the physical aspect of writing (the typing) is “mechanical” and your conscious mind lulls itself into a pattern activity. This means it “doesn’t have to think” and “goes to sleep” or relaxes. Your subconscious mind is the creative part of your brain, and because your conscious mind is “asleep,” the subconscious takes over and the story and characters and plots get to come to the surface and start to flow. You visualize things and see the story before your eyes and the writing is nothing more than documenting what you are seeing. You are “in the groove” or “the Muse is working.” It is your subconscious mind at work. You’ve been thinking about a plot problem but couldn’t figure it out. While you were doing your normal daily activities and your conscious mind was working on life, your subconscious mind was hard at work on your plot problem. When you “got into the groove” the problem was solved. That’s when your subconscious mind got to surface and told you the answer. Time becomes irrelevant, you are in the world of your story and the plot and characters become alive. You are under self-hypnosis.  People self hypnotize themselves without knowing it all the time.

You can get into this altered mind state by sitting down in a comfortable chair with your computer or word processor in a room or place that you like to write in, and relaxing. Take a few deep breaths and slowly let them out.  Now, start writing. Start on your story and just write what comes to you. Before long you’re “in the groove.” You can go back and edit later, just create. Let your mind go and just write. The results will surprise you.


“Brain Connections” by Jack Moreh is licensed under Equalicense 1.0 via Freerange.


Dr. David Ciambrone is a retired executive, scientist, professor of engineering, and a forensics consultant, and now a best selling, award winning author living in Georgetown, Texas with his wife Kathy.  He has published 20 books, four (4) non-fiction and fourteen fiction, and has news mysteries in work. He has also published two (2) textbooks for a California university. Dave has been a speaker at writers groups, schools, colleges and conferences and business conferences internationally.

He is past vice president of Sisters-in-Crime Orange County, CA, and past President of the Austin chapter of Sisters-in Crime; a member of Mystery Writers of America; past Member of the Board of Directors of the Writer’s League of Texas; Past President of the San Gabriel’s Writer’s League in Georgetown, TX; and a member of the Williamson County Coroners and the International Thriller Writers. Dave has also been on the Georgetown Library Advisory Board and the board of a local theater. He was Chairman on the Williamson County Appraisal Review Board and was on the board of directors of a Texas special utility district. He was also Chairman of the Williamson County, Texas Historical Commission.

Dr. Ciambrone has written three newspaper columns and a column for a business journal.

He is a fellow of the International Oceanographic Foundation and has a Bronze Trowel Award from the Archaeological Institute of America. He is also a member of the Order of Merlin of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

7 thoughts on “Finding the Muse

  1. Welcome, Dave. I always do fairly detailed outlines. That way I can focus on the writing process. It’s a joy to take the imagery in my head that I’ve transferred into the outline and more fully flesh it out in the first draft. The editing process? Now that’s a more difficult undertaking. Then again it can be fun turning an OK book into a special one.


  2. Really enjoyed your post! The different brain states are so interesting, aren’t they? About two years ago, I was driving and had a plot problem epiphany. I almost pulled off the road to write it down but I thought, “Nah, this is such a huge breakthrough, I’ll remember it.” … Yep, still can’t remember. 😦 Definitely pulling over next time, or setting up the new car to do speech-to-text with the steering wheel controls…


  3. Thanks, Dave. It really works that way, doesn’t it, getting in the groove? However, I prefer to resist all I can before sitting down, relaxing, and writing. That’s my signature writing process.


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