Gina Lawless Books

June 23, 2012

When Your Muse Has Left the Building

My muse leaves me at the most inopportune times. Do you find that happens to you on occasion? If I’m feeling stressed about outside influences, and I start to bog down, my muse says, “Screw this noise. I’m outta here until you get your head back on straight. I can‘t work like this!” Then she is gone. She leaves me empty handed, empty headed, and bewildered. No forward thought whatsoever.

In reality, my mind…everyone’s mind…gets over cluttered with junk, and then when we try to say/write something extraordinary, you can hear the crickets chirping so loudly, it’s absolutely deafening.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. You knew I was working up to it. Some time ago I read an article about our memory lapses, and how the brain functions. I think it was Reader’s Digest, but there you are! I can’t remember!

Most of us are right handed (sorry lefties, but this goes for you too) and use our right hand to do mostly everything. If you can train yourself to use the other hand to do the menial tasks that we ordinarily wouldn‘t think about, it makes your brain use that part which it normally does not.

It sounded ridiculously simple to try, so I set out to make it work for me. The following exercises are supposed to make your brain tap into the other side to formulate thoughts and ideas.

As writers, we use the right side of our brain. Logical folks (like mathematicians and nerds, and I have the utmost respect for the nerds) mostly use the left side.

This may not be 100% of the case, but you get my drift. Below is the list of things I tried, and at the end of this post, you will see a disclaimer, please read it carefully.

Give it a try and see if you can do at least some of them for a week, and add your own if you wish.

  • Writing by hand. You may not be able to read it, so make sure it’s not something important.
  • Brushing your teeth. I did this once. Once! I ended up jabbing my gums with my toothbrush so hard that they bled.
  • Eating. Make sure you wear a lobster bib.
  • Combing/brushing hair. Hopefully, you don’t have a sensitive scalp.
  • Shake hands with your left hand. This may throw other people off thinking you have some affliction with your right hand. But, it’s fun to mess with their heads.
  • Scrubbing the john. Beware of backsplash.
  • Reading a paragraph upside down. Nothing to say about that, except that you can amaze your friends and family.
  • Applying make-up. Do not try this if you plan on going out in public.
  • Shaving. I would avoid this completely. A jugular, or femoral artery is a terrible thing to waste.

So, you get my point in trying to activate unused parts of your brain. Other exercises may be used at your own discretion.

Disclaimer: May cause serious injury or bleeding, and detrimental effects when using sharp objects or operating heavy equipment or machinery.

Did it work for me? My muse came back and asked me some serious questions about my mental state, but she hung in there with for a little while longer.

In all seriousness, this exercise made me consider the difficulty of those with handicaps. My hats off to you strong people! With my left hand.

Have a Happy and Productive Weekend! Write!!!!



  1. Hi Gina,
    I like your blog. Yeah, sometimes the muse is nowhere to be found. I tend to write in spurts. I’ll get an inspiration and run with it. Then it may take days or weeks before I get another inspiration and writing will seem like work. I don’t force it, I know it will get done eventually. You have to keep your eye on the goal.
    I think there might be something to the idea of switching hands. I’m a lefty, myself so maybe I’ll see what I can do with my right.

    Comment by Robin Levin — June 23, 2012 @ 6:28 am | Reply

    • Just be careful Robin. I hope you read the disclaimer. Some of these tasks can be very tricky, but also very entertaining. At least to other people that may be watching you. 🙂 Enjoy the day!

      Comment by ginaray — June 23, 2012 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

      • Not to worry Gina. As a southpaw I have learned to be somewhat ambidextrous. I can’t resist commenting that, since it’s the right side of the brain that controls the left side of the body, we lefties are the only people in our right minds.

        Comment by Robin Levin — June 23, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

      • I know there has to be some truth to that. I am right handed, and know for a fact I’m not in my right mind!

        Comment by ginaray — June 23, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

  2. Another great piece of writing today. I really enjoyed reading it very much. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day.

    Enjoy writing? Join Us Today!

    Writers Wanted

    Comment by Writer Jobs — June 23, 2012 @ 7:26 am | Reply

  3. […] When Your Muse Has Left the Building ( […]

    Pingback by On losing one’s mind | Emily's Tea Leaves — June 25, 2012 @ 12:37 am | Reply

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