An Object of Interest

Let's chat about the muse today. For some of you who have read The Artists Way or The War of Art or Big Magic, you are familiar with the mysterious muse. The idea is simple, there is some spiritual entity or force inside of you or maybe outside of you that comes and magically gives you an idea so captivating you can't ignore it.


Okay, that's a little intimidating to think that all of your creativity comes from some unknown force that is uncontrollable and random.

This is the same idea that insane drawing ability comes from some genetic element of skill. You are either born with it or you aren't. You either have a muse or you don't.

Let's look at the other way around this problem because let's face it, sometimes you have only a block of time in the day and if the muse misses the memo that you were supposed to be creative between 7:30-8:00am, you'll feel a little let down.

But not to worry. Your friend creativity just needs a phone call and a little conversation to get talking. This is where the object of interest comes in to spark discussion.

For the nature journalist there are an infinite number of objects of interest. Let's take a very simple example. I have a candle sitting in front of me. Now start asking questions in your head. Don't get distracted but stay focused on the object. Where did it come from? What is it made of? What shape is it? What does it smell like? How is it used?

Choose wonder. Become genuinely curious about the origin of the object and it's design.

I can see that the candle is soy-based and pine-scented. Let's explore down an avenue from there. I am interested in the pine-scent because I recently read a book that described the pine scent, specifically juniper, of having anti-cancer and immune enhancing properties.

Does the candle act the same way? Is that why people love the scent of candles? Do they act in the same way as actual tree-essences? Do other trees have the same beneficial properties or different ones?

You see, just by taking interest in this one object we've gone down a rabbit hole of mystery and discovery. Perhaps we can find other articles and information on the subject or perhaps we can simply illustrate the idea to save for another day of exploration.

Let's not wait for the muse to show up. Start with wonder and curiosity will follow. Begin to ask questions you never bothered to ask before. Any object can lead to nature because all objects originate from some type of natural resource, even the most technological, far-from-nature object.

This is a simple way to build a journaling practice on your own schedule.