You Are Your Muse

A lot of authors—even some who are published—subscribe to the idea that writing is some how magical.

Okay, it is in part. By that, I mean taking a vision in your head, using words to make it possible for someone else to see that same vision by reading your words.

What I'm talking about is the idea that one cannot write unless The Muse, that magical, mystical being, is with them. 

I've hosted a lot of writers on SlingWords. I've always been surprised when I ask, "What are you working on?"

Surprised because so many said they didn't know. They were waiting for their Muse.

Granted, that may be a way to excuse a tempoerary hiatus from writing, but in a lot of cases, the writer actually meant what they said. 

The Truth About Writing

A lot of people seem to want to write books. Many never do because once they sit down and start putting words onto the monitor screen, they realize that this is hard work. I think many are surprised when after a page or two or a day or two, they run out of words. They have no idea what comes next.

Often they stare at the monitor screen until they give up and get up and go do something easier and far more pleasurable than sticking it out until they get the words flowing again. They'll say, "I'm waiting for my Muse.

Idealistic View of Writing

These people have an idealistic view of writing as a career because they think you only write when inspired.

Ask any writer—freelance technical writer or novelist—who has signed a contract if that's how they work. They'll tell you, as soon as they stop laughing, that the business doesn't work that way. If you're under contract, you don't wait for the Muse to pay you a visit. You write.

Got a deadline and got the flu? You write. Depressed and weepy? You write. Don't know what this scene or even this chapter is about? You write, and you learn very quickly that it's much easier to write when you have some kind of basic outline or even "what happens next" notes.

You Are Your Muse

Writing demands the same kind of dedication as careers in teaching, law, accounting, or any  job that pays you money.

If you're a tired and sleepy teacher, you don't sleep in. You go to school and teach.

If you're an accountant, tired of the same old grind, day in and day out, you don't skip work and go to the ball game or a spa. You go to the office at your appointed time.

Writers, if you want to be successful, adopt the work ethic of your peers out in the job force. They punch in and out at the same time every day. You emulate that. Put your butt in your chair at your chosen appointed time and write.

Your consistency of effort transforms you into your Muse, and that enables you to be creative on a regular schedule. Some days your words may be less than brilliant, but it's a heck of a lot easier to fix a page of mundane writing than to fix a blank page.

The true genius of writing lies in the editing process. That's when you turn crap into gold.

Oh, my. This sounds like a real job. True. You have to be disciplined and consistent in your productivity. 


You get to do the work in a location of your choice, dressed—or undressed—however you please. No makeup, hair styling, high heels, or dress for success suit required.

Takeaway Truth

The only thing required is that you, the Muse, show up. Place your butt in a chair and stay there however long it takes to meet your daily word quota. 

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