Muse Juice | C.B. Wentworth

A recent post on writenotright got me thinking about what fuels my muse. Whenever I sit down to write, a number of elements are needed to please my fickle muse. She’s a little more cooperative when the Top Ten List is in play:

1. A clean computer. Most of my writing is done on a white MacBook, which gets dirty easily and often. If there’s even one small smudge of dirt, I’m so consumed by the need to clean it I can’t write a thing. Before heading out to my favorite coffee shop, I always check to make sure its clean. Awesome tip: I’ve found Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is the best product to clean a matte finish Mac. It zaps every stain and makes my Mac look brand new.

2. My “spot.” I’ve been going to the same Barnes & Noble café for the last five years. My novel was born there and so was this blog, along with a countless other writing projects. In particular, I have a favorite table that lets me observe the door, the café, and the book floor. It’s a great spot for people watching when I need a character in a pinch. I’ve made some great friends among the employees and the regulars, which makes this place a true second home. Not to mention, they make great coffee!

3. A Tall Café Mocha. The title for this post comes from my favorite cup of coffee. This stuff is truly my muse juice as it has had a place next to my computer from the very beginning. From outlining to revising the third draft I have relied on my muse juice to keep me focused and relaxed. Besides that, its chocolate coffee. What more could I want in life??

4. Chocolate of some kind. This really doesn’t need an explanation. (It’s a food group, you know!)

5. Spiral Notebook. This applies to my Big Notebook or a small memo book I use for scribbling notes. Before I type anything I usually need to work it out on a piece of paper the old-fashioned way. The Big Notebook keeps me focused when I’m writing sections of a novel, while the memo book is used for rough drafts and lists of words I jot down after scanning through a thesaurus.

6. iPod. Music is an essential part of my writing process. Every project has a playlist to put me in “the zone” of the story or the character, (See How Music Helped Me Write A Novel). If I’m writing a random piece, like a blog post, I select an established playlist to set the mood. For example, right now I’m listening to Owl City’s All Things Bright and Beautiful album from my “Feel Good” playlist.

7. Goals. If I don’t set some sort of goal, I’ll end up wandering on the internet or staring off into space. A large project usually means a word count goal, while smaller projects could be something as little as finding one right word. The idea is to create a reachable goal that matches to scope and size of my current writing project.

8. A Jolt of Motivation. To get in the right mindset I check out the literary quote of the day on my iGoogle page, read a few inspiring blogs, or take some time with a photograph or piece of artwork. Seeing the creative output of others motivates me to join the ranks and create something all my own.

9. My banged up Thesaurus. The cover is ragged and held together with packing tape. A crack in the binding makes the book open automatically to #626 every time. It’s from 1972 and is by far the best thesaurus I own (never mind how many thesauri populate my shelves). It has the best index, includes older phrases that I love to use, and its organized in Roget’s original system, which is far more useful than an alphabetical listing.

10. Pencil Pouch O’ Supplies. My pencil pouch is loaded with ballpoint pens, highlighters, pencils, USBs, and sticky notes. If I’m working on the Big Notebook I’ll toss in a pair of scissors and a glue stick. With this stockpile, I’m prepared for anything.

Luckily, most of this fits in a standard messenger bag with exception to numbers two and three. With so many variables it’s amazing I get anything done, but somehow the words come and the story unfolds.

What is your muse juice?

via Muse Juice « C.B. Wentworth.

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    1. I’ve never been able to write in the morning. I don’t know if its me or my muse, but the words come best in late afternoon and into the evening. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!


  1. love this post!! Yes, for me its my spot in Starbucks that has an outlet, because I am always running out of battery power…but my most important ‘muse juice’ is seeing something astounding in nature that inspires me to share with the world.


    1. Thank you! 🙂 Oooo, I’m jealous of your outlet. There isn’t a single outlet in my spot.

      Nature is also one of my major sources of inspiration. It doesn’t take long to witness something miraculous or beautiful. The words can’t help but be written. Thanks so much for sharing your muse juice!


  2. Whew! That’s far more complicated than I can manage. I walk across the hallway from the bedroom, shut the door, plug in my electric teakettle, fix a cup of very black tea, look out the window (windows and writing essential), write in my journal, open my laptop. And that’s pretty much where I stay until about 2 p.m.


    1. That sounds like a lovely way to spend the day. 🙂 Your muse juice is so peaceful and I’ll bet your writing follows the same path. Thanks so much for sharing!


  3. Like the list! I’ll add one. I travel a lot and don’t leave the driveway without my digital voice recorder.


  4. A hot drink usually helps, either coffee with cream or a big mug of tea.

    Failing that a glass of wine is often good for getting the creative juices flowing


    1. The last time I mixed alcohol with writing was a disaster! Lesson learned: Lightweights should not attempt wordsmithing while under the influence. 😉

      Thanks for sharing your muse juice!


      1. Late replying but curious to know the outcome exactly? I’ve had some “brilliant” things written while under the influence – and hilarious things as well XD


  5. I need total silence to write something and usually I get it early in the morning or late at night.


    1. Late at night is my favorite time to write. The house is quiet, the dogs are asleep, and the TV is off. There’s nothing left but the story in my head!

      Thanks for sharing what fuels your muse!


  6. Thanks for the great tips. I need goals also or I wind up surfing the internet and reading facebook and all kinds of stuff. I write my goals in my appt. book every morning and check them off as I finish them. They usually look like this:
    Write 5 pages of book I’m working on
    Post a new blog
    Post new status on facebook
    etc., etc. etc. I limit my list because I don’t want to stress myself out. At 4:30 I stop for a Kahlua and milk.


  7. My “muse juice” is a distraction-free zone (libraries are GREAT for this! – we have 2 very close to me that I absolutely adore [see my post on libraries on my blog:, and my ipod playing white noise. Seriously. The app I use (and adore) has a super-cheesy name “Relax Melodies”, but is free, and flexible, and truly great. I also usually require a beverage of some sort: cafe Americano if it’s morning, tea if it’s evening, and a low-cal juice if it’s midday.

    Thanks for asking! Cool post.


    1. Oooo, I’ll have to check out the app . . . and your blog. 🙂 I love how your muse has a drink preference for different times of the day! Lol.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂


      1. My muse isn’t “fickle”, persay… she just knows what she likes. 😉

        Thanks for stopping by my blog! I appreciate it. 🙂


  8. A lovely post 🙂 Well I’m completely new to this – only one blog old. But so far, it seems to be sitting with the talk radio on at a steady volume (London riot coverage is unmissable unfortuantely) and like today – waking up much earlier than I normally would, read a few blogs or stories on blogs to gain inspiration and then email everyone I know to tell them about mine since it’s up there for all to read 😉


    1. Thanks! 🙂

      I hope London calms down soon – I’m watching from afar, but its still disheartening to see the city in so much turmoil. 😦

      Good luck with your blogging . . . keep writing!


  9. I also do almost all of my writing on a white MacBook. Best computer I’ve ever owned. I had thought of it as a luxury until another blogger in the luxuries thread said no, our computers are really our tools.

    Either way, whether it’s a luxury or a tool, my muse loves my Mac. 😉


  10. I need time and a personally chosen distraction–mostly I have the a reality cooking, design, or something like Survivor running on the TV or on my hulu pop out. I am ADHD and for some that type of distraction settles the brain a bit. Does mine. Time is at my back pushing me quickly down the final slope. I I care for my grandson and that eats two or three days a week….not complaining, it is a blessing, a true blessing, but also eats time.
    Life is full of choices and if it is write or family, family comes first.


  11. I just want to say I respect your organisation in stationery items and the state of your thesaurus sounds like my proper BIG Spanish dictionary. I received that dictionary as a gift and it has been used daily for only 10 years. Good reference book. But stationery…my, that’s probably my favourite subject and I spent a fortune the other day on anything, stationerywise, that might come in useful in my new job from next week.


    1. There’s nothing quite as wonderful as a well-used reference book. It seems the more banged up they are, the more useful they are as a resource.

      Congrats and good luck at your new job! 🙂


  12. Wake up early,prepare my things for work, Think what`s on your mind for today,and never think what happen after the day 🙂


  13. Wow, love that you have a special place where you can create. I haven’t found that sweet spot yet since we moved.

    I had to laugh when you mentioned chocolate. I was watching an old episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show the other night, and here’s and exchange that I had written down years ago, mainly because I love Rhoda, and chocolate. Mary is having a day when NOTHING is going right.

    Rhoda: Here Mary, have some candy.
    Mary: No, chocolate never solved anything.
    Rhoda: Mary, cottage cheese never solved anything. Chocolate can do it all.


  14. My muse juice is the TV off, music on my headphones, quiet home, earplugs, a cup of water, and my notebook of my blog ideas for my blog.


  15. very nice and inspiring especially for a beginner in the blogging world like me. I like that we share common taste in hot beverages as I also like cafe mocha, no, id die for it!lol