The Monday Muse: Getting Back to Work

Happy Monday, Nerd Cactus followers! It’s been an incredible couple of weeks, but it’s time to get back to business.

No, no, I mean that in terms of returning the Nerd Cactus blog to its regular schedule! Admittedly, we got a bit carried away in the wake of the Stratford Festival, but hopefully you enjoyed some of our Shakespeare-themed ramblings and were inspired to seek out Shakespearean theatre for yourself (whether in Stratford, Canada or elsewhere).

Today was the day I resolved to get us back on track at last. This was only to realize that I had nothing substantial to muse about. I’ve been thinking about this for hours and I honestly feel that anything I have to say will pale in comparison to Shakespeare month and the general level of inspiration we were provided with by visiting Stratford… So now I’m faced with the difficulty of channeling my Stratford thoughts into something vaguely resembling a Monday Muse. Curse you, ye internet gods who demand my adherence to the schedule C and I voluntarily created! I kid. Maybe.

I mentioned in Saturday’s post that I came away from Stratford with renewed inspiration, steering me toward new goals and instilling a sense of urgency into my creative process. Today I began writing again (with vigor), read the script for my upcoming show (with verve), and started something brand new (just ’cause). It is this brand new addition to my life that I want to speak of this evening in the hopes that it will help someone else contain/utilize their inspiration.

Though I have a vast collection of notebooks I’ve never been one for journaling. My notebooks contain unfinished stories, character analyses, lyrics, monologues, vaguely existential thoughts and the like, but I’ve never been one to write about my “day to day” or leave myself little “you got this” notes. I have been known, however, to jot down quotes that inspire me to work harder. To be better. Generally, they’re one-liners, often attributed to “anonymous”, and pretty darn blunt (metaphors and flowery language seldom get my ass in gear).

The problem here is that these quotations are scattered throughout the vast expanse of my “blank-paper library”. I leave them in my daily planner on days I will never look at again, on post-its that disappear and reappear without warning, and sometimes in notebooks that contain so much character description that they inevitably get sucked into a vortex of handwriting that renders them utterly illegible. I’m not super organized, you guys…

So here’s what I have done as part of my wild post-Stratford inspiration kick. I went out and bought a two-pack of teeny moleskine journals that will live in my purse from here on out. As those pesky quote-notes crop up I will transfer them to these little pocket pads so that inspiration is always close at hand (and relatively organized). So far those quotes include “work until your idols become your rivals” and “do it with passion or not at all”. It seems a little silly (hokey, if you will), but being able to flip through reminders that have everything to do with everything I want to be seems like the perfect way to start my creative engine on a daily basis.

I don’t actively seek out these quotes either so it’s a nice, organic way of pushing myself forward as inspiration strikes. I think the repetition and being able to actively revisit these quotations will be a great asset to my overall productivity. It’s a small step, but I think it’s something I can implement into my life without it becoming disruptive. With this little tweak I think I may have found a way to kickstart a new era of hard work. (Seriously, most of my chosen quotes are essentially a written kick in the pants.)

*None of my chosen quotes are actually this mean. I lean towards friendly – though stern – suggestions for success.*

Well, that’s it from me, guys. It wasn’t much of a muse, but nobody said getting back into the swing of things was going to be easy. If you’ve got an inspiring quote of your own you’d like to share with the Cactus community be sure to comment below!



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