I’m sometimes asked by fellow aspiring-to-be-published novelists how I can write so prolifically. I make it a point to write something every day. Sometimes it’s work on my novel, sometimes it’s a well-crafted and pointed business letter or a scorching missive to my state representative, and sometimes it’s just the blog. My friends question where I get my ideas at all and once I’ve corralled them into one general area, how can I possibly get them heading into the same direction. Do I have a Muse?
The answer is short and sweet: There is NO such thing as a Muse.
Getting anything accomplished, including the task of writing, takes blood, sweat, tears, more sweat and more tears. If you’re the type who is waiting for inspiration from some diaphanous illumination that will lead you by the hand into your creative heart, you’ve got another thing coming. You're also the type who believes you'll hit the MegaMillions jackpot someday.
In my earlier incarnation, I used to believe in the power of the Muse. It’s true that I’m my most creative when my life is full of conflict and drama. I wrote my best poetry when in the throes of freshly minted love affairs, the last being about 25 years ago just after I met my husband. The day-dreamy existence is a fine one for word crafting of any type.
However, the altered state doesn’t work for everything. Serious writers have to adhere to a schedule. I know this because I waffle in that netherworld between writing for fun and the alternative. It’s a great hobby to bandy about words and be the cause of conversations – it’s the birth of your baby. The re-writes, corrections and critiques are infinitely more difficult but part of the total equation – that is called whipping your child into shape.
I am an admittedly lazy writer. There are the rare times when I prolifically write as though I’m on fire, but truthfully speaking, I can initiate more ways of procrastination than anyone I know.