How to harness your Muse with habit and hard work

Woman at The Parthenon in Athens, Greece
Woman at The Parthenon in Athens, Greece
Photo by Arthur Yeti on Unsplash

Where do writing ideas come from? To describe the writing process, writers use ideas rooted in myth.

The Muse

Writers and artists speak of “The Muse” or of a personal muse. A mystical force who inspires their work. The Muse originated from Greek mythology.

The Greek poet, Hesiod, wrote about nine Muses. These were daughters of Zeus and of the memory goddess, Mnemosyne. After making love on nine consecutive nights, they conceived nine daughters.

The Muses entertained the gods on Mount Olympus. They embodied poetry, music, and the arts. …


A string of stories to help you overcome creative blocks

Strand of white lights
Strand of white lights
Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

Welcome to a new collection of stories on how to get your writing unstuck.

My goal is to make a place where you can collect sparks to push your work forward.

Each post will begin with the phrase “How to Hack Writer’s Block,” followed by advice you can act on right away. Many of these stories will be quick actions or ideas that shift your perspective. Others will take more effort.

I’ve collected more than 100 tips from respected writers, playwrights, and screenwriters. And I intend to share them all with you.

Fair warning, some of this advice will be…


How practice produces real change

Man playing bass guitar
Man playing bass guitar
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

How fast can you type?

Working at a keyboard for most of my life, my fingers move at 70 to 75 words per minute. Respectable, sure, but keyboarding came at a cost. It left my handwriting to rot.

Four years ago at an office party, I declined to write trivia answers on Post-it Notes because my handwriting was so bad. A designer grabbed that pad and wrote beautifully. Not just well, beautifully.

That moment, I decided to change my penmanship.

My journey

I’m an Aries, ascendant Leo, and it’s in my nature to dive headlong into new passions. …


You’re a savvy shopper. You’ve figured out that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just punctuations in a shopping season that starts before Halloween and ends after New Years Day.

You research ads and coupon codes, planning your door-busting strategy like a boss. When you order online, you give retailers your email address so they send you a “new customer” discount code.

Holiday mall shoppers
Holiday mall shoppers
Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

You’re smart. You download an avalanche of price checking apps and bookmark the best price comparison websites. You strategically abandon online shopping carts, then wait for the inevitable email that contains a discount code or coupon.

You even…


(Or, how to lose only when you choose)

It’s a simple game. You probably learned how to play on the back of a kid’s menu, waiting for a hot grilled cheese sandwich.

Tic-Tac-Toe is deceptively simple. Given a three-by-three grid, win by connecting three Xs or Os in a row.

But you’ve lost — we all have. I’m here to show you how to lose only when you choose. And along the way, I’ll show you a cool trap!

Tic-Tac-Toe Game
Tic-Tac-Toe Game
Tic-Tac-Toe Game (author photo)

First, let’s clear up one misunderstanding. I can’t tell you how to always win.

Nobody can, because two savvy opponents will…

Ken Palmer

Creative storyteller, engineer, and Dad.

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