Catching Butterflies: Harnessing the Muse

By Meghan Kabir  •  June 27, 2017

The smell of stale coffee and defeat linger in the air. A wasteland of crumpled papers litter the floor and there sits a disheveled writer, who’s been chasing rabbit holes for hours with nothing to show but an empty page staring back with its mocking gaze. The deadly plague of writer’s block has struck. Like a disease spreading from the recesses of the mind past the point of no return. Every songwriter’s worst nightmare. Call it superstitious, but one almost shouldn’t utter such words for fear of giving it wings. The truth is…we’ve all been there. Sometimes the well just runs dry, the creative juices no more. Re-awakening your inner muse can feel next to impossible; and the more you try, the further she fleets…like catching butterflies in a thunderstorm. She’s a fickle one and vanishes as quick as she came. The following tips are a how-to in harnessing the so-called “muse” - and I don’t mean the three-piece Brit rockers.

Vibe. Vibe. Vibe.
Tailor your workspace. Open some windows, brew a cup of coffee, stock your coffee table with an array of books that inspire you…whether it be a splashy book of photography or one that chronicles a forgotten era - that sense of nostalgia quickly taps into my #allthefeels sweet spot and gets my mind racing. Find your triggers.

Engage your senses. I like to burn sage or palo santo…essential oils are another one of my favorite go-tos and  also promote an array of health benefits like mental clarity and overall wellbeing.

Fill up your tank. 
There’s not enough emphasis put on taking the time to stop and smell the roses. We’re taught at an early age that downtime labels you a slacker, but the thing is…you won’t have much to give if you’re not inputting enough things that feed your soul and having life experiences that shape your being. Our  mission as songwriters is to connect with people and tap into the human condition…so go forth and live!

Travel…see something that takes your breath away…surround yourself with interesting people that spark something in you. Their different perspectives will broaden your horizons. Wine and dine…do something you’ve never done before. Netflix binge.

Know when to stop. 
Re-calibrate. Sometimes your ears just need a break…other times a little Vitamin D and fresh air is all you need. Relax (a certain scene from Zoolander comes to mind). Find your zen…we’re all so anxious  and stressed out and that bad energy is only going to get you further away from feeling inspired. Take a yoga class. Learn to meditate. 

The bottom line is this: find what makes your ticker race, then rinse and repeat. There’re no rules…find what works for you and make a conscious decision to do it. Happy creating!

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Meghan Kabir is an artist and multi-platinum songwriter in Nashville, TN best known for her work with Kelly Clarkson and Selena Gomez. Her solo debut Blackberry Winter is now available on all major digital retailers (get it on iTunes here or at Meghan's Etsy shop). Follow Meghan’s adventures on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @meghankabir.