I Only Write When I’m Inspired…
This quote is credited to William Faulkner.
And many a writer waits for that inspiration, that muse, those boys in the basement, as Stephen King calls them, to rise up and sprinkle inspiration like Tinkerbell’s fairy dust.
Yes, when the muse finally arrives, the words will flow, the brilliance from my writing space will light the whole neighborhood. Move over, Tolkien. Watch out, Hemingway. Here I come. Meanwhile, I’ll play Free Cell until he shows up.
But, wait, there’s more to this quote that many aspiring writers miss:
… Fortunately, I am inspired at nine o’clock every morning.
Inspiration isn’t something we wait for. It’s something we pull out of ourselves every day.
Before I stepped into full time writing, there were many days I didn’t feel “inspired” to go to work. But I went, not always in the best mood. Once there, the inspiration came. Sometimes it started as doing what I had to do to get through the day. Soon, however, it changed into doing my job by putting my best into it with a goal to arrive at the end of the day saying I did my best and produced quality work.
When I still had a day job, I got up at 4:00 a.m. to write. This created an hour-and-a-half of writing time I didn’t have before. Many times, that was all the writing time I had for that day.
You better believe I was inspired when I sat down at that keyboard. That time was precious. I was not going to waste ir waiting for some temperamental muse to decide to show up. I started to write and he showed up every day. He soon appeared on time. And we worked.
As Jack London said, “Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it.”
How about you? Do you wait for your muse or do you call him forth? Or do you just start writing and wait for him to catch up?