Here are a few things I've found that bring her back out of the shadows, and willingly whispering in my ear:
1. Sleep on it. If I'm stuck and not another single word is willing to spill from my fingertips, I let it sit. Usually when I come back to it the next morning my Muse is full of fresh ideas to get us back on track.
2. Eat something. I don't know what it is about food that inspires me, but it does. Keep a notebook handy!
3. Get in the car. Maybe it's that what my Muse enjoys most is torturing me. I always have great ideas strike while I'm driving. Red lights are your friend, keep a notebook and pen handy. The voice recorder on your cell phone would work too. ;)
4. A confidant. My sister is my sounding board and confidant. When I talk to her and start bouncing things off her the solution will always materialize. Either she'll see the escape hatch or a whole new plan will formulate before my eyes.
5. Goals. I'm a rather competitive person. If I put a goal down on my calendar to, say, have the first draft of a story finished- I usually blow it out of the water. My goal to finish Emerald? Killed it two months early. Goal for first 50 edits? Wiped them out a month before the deadline. It works for me, but only if I write it in ink on the calendar I stare at daily.
I'm also thinking the Tipsy part of this Tuesday could pull your Muse into better use! Let's experiment! I had the BEST drink on Friday night- a blueberry cosmo. YUM! Here's how to make your own:
4 parts blueberry vodka
2 parts triple sec
2 parts cranberry juice
1 part lime juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker full of ice. Shake until chilled and then serve in a martini cocktail glass.I have no idea how many calories are in this one, and I'm afraid I don't even care. Gasp in horror, I know. This drink is good enough you won't care either.