Clio- Muse of History by thisisbossi

Have you ever heard the phrase “I’m waiting for my muse”? Probably from someone involved with art or music or literature. Can I say that this phrase drives me crazy? Yes? Okay, this phrase drives me crazy.

There is no muse. She does not exist. She is a mythological figure that we artists use as  an excuse. Okay, actually, I don’t. My excuses are always something a little less grand. I’m busy, I’m tired, I lost my notebook, I have writer’s block (a legitimate, but easily fixable mistake). If you tell me you’re waiting for your muse to strike, do you know what that says to me? You are lazy.

Over a year ago, a project by an author was put on hold because of some leakage (which I understand, the hold not the leakage). No one was sure if the book was even being published. And then it definitely was, but the author wasn’t working on it yet because she was waiting for her muse. Don’t get me wrong, I love her other books, but telling people she wasn’t writing because the muse didn’t strike her was a little ridiculous. I’m sorry, writers write. Rain or shine, inspired or not.

Aspiring writers make note of this: If you wait for the mood to strike you or your muse to inspire you, you will never write a jot. Or you will write very few jots. If you want to be good at something you have to be disciplined, even if it’s only a small bit. Set aside time to write whether you feel like it or not. It does not have to come out perfect the first time, that’s what editing is for. Just get it out no matter how bad it sounds. And the more you work on writing, the easier it will get.

Have writer’s block? Skip that section, come back to it later. You don’t have to write linearly (but it’s a good idea to jot down a basic direction so  you know where are all the pieces fit). I’ll tell you a secret, when I come up with a story I usually discover the ending first. No, seriously, that’s usually the first thing I know about my story…how it ends and then I realize how it begins and I figure out the in between as I go. Do not ask me why it happens this way, it’s just the way my brain comes up with stuff (Or as I like to joke, it’s the way the charaters tell me the story).

So don’t blame the dust on a tardy muse. Just admit you’re lazy…and then do something about…or don’t. It’s not that hard. Watch me: I have a book I haven’t touched since August becuase I’m lazy (and I lost the notebook with all my notes, but let’s face it…I wasn’t looking very hard). I”m getting caught up with school and then I’m going to do something about it.

Even if it’s only for a few minutes a day, make it a habit to write something regularly. Even if you don’t have a story. There are tons of websites out there that can help with writer’s prompts (if you can, check out writer’s magazines like Writer’s Digest).

You CAN do it!