Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Muse

“When do you write—when the muse strikes you?”

Today I want to laugh at the question so many people have asked. When the muse strikes me? I wish.

For if I wrote only when it struck me, I would never finish a novel. I’d rather brainstorm ideas. At that point the story is full of possibility and potential, without the weight of clunky words that can never fully capture the vision in my mind.

If I wrote only when the muse struck me, I would have enough time on my hands to paint my toes, become a spider solitaire champion, and count the hairs on my head. For like lightning, those moments of brilliant inspiration rarely strikes the same place twice.

And if I wrote only when the muse struck me, I wouldn’t be working today on a manuscript whose words I hate the moment I set them on paper. Instead, the only thing keeping me in my chair is the determination to treat this like the work of any other professional: I rise and write, whether I feel like it or not.

In short, if I wrote only when the muse struck, I would be out of a job.

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