When a story idea is tender in our minds, it can be difficult to feed that idea the right “ingredients” to help it grow into a flourishing narrative worthy of telling. We often try a lot of things to nurture a specific idea, to make it grow.
In my experience, we need to take a longer view. The muse is an unquantifiable bit of inspiration that has been personified in various mythologies due to its masterful influence on the human psyche. It’s no wonder, then, that I’ve found nurturing a relationship with one’s muse, like nurturing a relationship with another person, is a lot more productive than trying to force the muse to inspire you in a particular way. If the muse is your friend, then, like a friend, your muse will be there for you when you need it. If the muse is your servant, then the muse may choose to seek its employment elsewhere.
Give your muse time and opportunity to converse with you, to influence you, to help and hinder you. Don’t treat the muse like an unappreciated servant sent to do your bidding. There’s give and take, and if you follow where the relationship takes you, you just might find the gold at the end of the rainbow.