Writing Resources: The Pocket Muse
We writers can’t be inspired every day.
Sometimes we get burned out. Other times, we have ideas but they just don’t seem appealing at the moment when we sit down to write. Sometimes we need to take a break from a writing project and spend a little time on shorter projects, which can recharge our creativity. Other times, we’re just stuck in a writing slump.
That’s when keeping a little stockpile of writing ideas and inspiration inspiration is a good idea.
The Pocket Muse
I received my copy of The Pocket Muse as a gift a few years ago. Unfortunately, it sat on my bookshelf for far too long. But recently, I cracked it open and started perusing it. And I found it absolutely delightful.
It’s a lovely mashup of prompts, writing tips, and project starters. There are also photos to help you generate ideas. Plus, the author shares her own writing experiences, insights, and anecdotes in short essays throughout the book.
Each page contains a prompt, image, idea, quote, writing exercise, or bit of wisdom. This book is a treasure trove for writers.
One of my favorite pages offers a list of word prompts. It’s labeled as a list of verbs: racket, snug, green, spoon, boggle, and snake. The list is followed by a note pointing out that all these words are not verbs, then offers the following suggestions:
Jeremy is racketing across the lawn as we speak!
Can you hear earthworms snugging out of the ground as the sun greens the trees?
Verbs are sometimes a matter of opinion.
I just love that! If we writers don’t make language fun, who will?
Here are a few more goodies from The Pocket Muse:
- A photo of two hippos includes a caption that says it’s your job to figure out how these two hippos ended up in a school parking lot.
- “I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.” – Samuel Johnson
- And this golden bit of advice about trying to get published before you’ve mastered the craft: “Respect your apprenticeship.”
This book is packed with ideas and inspiration. But it also contains plenty of wisdom and offers practical tips. For example, there is a list of classic story elements: setup, complication, rising action, meanwhile, climax, and denouement coupled with examples from the classic tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It’s an excellent and simple example of major movements and elements that need to be present in any good piece of fiction.
The Pocket Muse is an ideal gift for any writer (including yourself). It’s a lovely little hardcover, and is great for your desk since it is both decorative and useful. When you need a break, are stuck in a rut, or just need something to pass a few minutes, this book will be a treat. You can flip through it, open it to some random page, or read through it from cover to cover. Any which way, you win!
And of course, this book will help you keep writing.