People who wait for inspiration typically stagnate more than they produce.
It’s a nice thought that some unseen entity — a Muse — watches over you as you do the things that keep you from writing, just waiting for the right moment to whisper “write,” in your ear. When the sweet word dances in your cochlea, the words flow…you might even smell lilacs and hear the waterfalls of Xanadu.
Too bad it doesn’t work that way!
Some writers probably believe, just by writing these very words, that I’ve angered my Muse. If I never make it writing, some people might point to this very moment, saying, “Ha! Your Muse left because you were a cynical ass!”
Thing is, I killed my Muse long ago. And when I did, success followed because I no longer waited for inspiration to write.
So how do you kill the Muse?
Accept that inspiration is fleeting and make writing a habit. That’s all there is to it!
Okay, maybe inspiration isn’t fleeting — it’s everywhere if you’re open to it — but it’s not something to wait for on a regular basis. Sure, there are pre-writing rituals and just knowing when it’s time to get serious and produce, but it comes from practice.
Ask yourself how many times you’ve sat around waiting for the right combination of time, inspiration, drive, and solitude — and how many times those elements all came together at just the right moment for you to write.
Chances are, not very often.
Chances are, when you’re most productive, you just do it!
Don’t wait — write!
When you get over the fantasy that each writing session should be like bathing in the milk of Paradise while eating honeydew, it’s easier to sit down and do the hard work of writers.
But if you still can’t kill your Muse, consider finding the muse in other things.
Clocks and calendars. Make a schedule and stick to it. Write on your lunchbreak at work, or in the early morning or later evening when you can probably find time alone.
Once you make writing a habit, there’s no reason to have a Muse.
Places. For some, the Muse lives in coffee and tea shops. For others, the Muse lives in office supply stores and comes in the form of cool pens, fresh notebooks, and comfy chairs. I’m sure a Muse or two can be found in the photo at the bottom of this entry.
There’s nothing wrong with visiting places that inspire you to write…just as long as they really make you write!
Somebody real. I’ve been with my Muse for over seventeen years.
Knowing that we’ll be together until the end makes the successes of writing sweeter and more beautiful than anything found in Xanadu!
The people closest to us are the people who support us, whether we succeed or not.
Real people beat ideal, unseen entities any day!
You! Why not be your own Muse? After all, when you look at yourself in the mirror each day, that’s who you have to answer to if you don’t write!
LOL! Love it!
I’m one of the “office supply stores and cool pens” people. 🙂
Christopher Gronlund says
I am, too. I can spend a day in an office supply store and not get bored. So much cool stuff that you must walk out feeling inspired to do something, even if it’s just organizing things!
They’re one of my favorite stores…right up there with book stores.