I once wrote an article about fueling your muse. No, it wasn’t about healthy eating, although I am something of a health nut. No, this was more direct fueling of that spirit responsible (some say) for our creative endeavors.

I feed mine M&Ms. Here’s the reasoning: When I eat M&Ms, my critical mind sorts them into colors and patterns. So I might line up one brown, one red, two green, one blue, and then repeat the pattern. Sounds anal, but then, have you met my internal editor? Complete control freak.

So how does rewarding my internal editor with M&Ms improve my writing? By keeping her busy, my muse is free to create. My fingers fly over the keyboard (or maybe it’s all the sugar). My characters race into action, dialogue spurts onto the page, the plot thickens. Suddenly a scene appears, while my internal critic is busy arranging and rearranging M&Ms into complicated patterns.

But sometimes I don’t want the writing to flow too fast. Maybe the plot needs the assistance of my internal critic, or maybe I’m revising what I wrote in the heat of the moment. What to eat then?

I find sunflower seeds, still in their shells, to be an excellent way to occupy my hands while my internal editor gets to work. Cracking open sunflower seeds is mindless drudgery, nothing anal about it. I open a few seeds, pop them into my mouth, and let ‘er rip. She’s delighted to have free rein with my manuscript, while I ingest some somewhat healthy nibbles.

Since I wrote the article, I’ve tried to eat healthier while writing. These days, I’m more likely to be fueled by green tea than green M&Ms, but with my current WIP stuck in middle gear, I’m seriously considering breaking open a fresh bag.

And making up for it at the gym, of course. Because my internal editor will insist. She’s a real nag when it comes to my health, too, but fortunately, I know she can be bought off. All it takes is a bag of colorful M&Ms!

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