August 24th, 2019


The Muse is real

I've heard people say that writer's block is a myth. I've heard people say that inspiration/the creative muse is a myth too. You just have to put in the work, they say. Stop waiting around for lightning to strike and just write. "Real" writers write every day like it's a job, so pretending there are these mythical things involved is just silly.

I think those people are full of baloney.

Writer's block is real and so is the muse.

The muse is just not strictly necessary to write, and "writer's block" doesn't strictly mean you can't write.

I've done it. Just pushed through the block and forced myself to write anyway. Hammered at the words until they appeared. It can be done.

The thing I've learned, though, is that doing it that way, that writing without the muse, is indeed work. Like a job kind of work. Uses up a ton of spoons, kind of work. It's draining and it takes energy and I have to push out and spend from myself to make it happen.

But the muse is real.

I remember last year, when I finally did NaNo, because lightning struck. The Muse was awake and interested at the same time the event was on, and I wrote my 50k in two weeks of frenzy. It wasn't even work. It was work to not write. The words demanded out and if I didn't get out of bed and type up the next scene bouncing around in my head I wouldn't be able to sleep! So I wrote like a fiend until the muse let me go half way through the event, and then I didn't finish the story, it's still kicking around, growing slowly, because the inspiration isn't there anymore. Odds are I won't be able to haul it out and finish it this year either. I've tried to do NaNo probably five or six times, and succeeded only once, because I can't afford the spoons to do it the other way.

Pretending that something people experience isn't real, just because it isn't part of a certain subset's everyday life is something that seems awfully common. (I could extrapolate that in so many ways!) But the creative muse absolutely is real. It's just that the naysayers are right in that waiting about for lightning to strike won't guarantee anything, it may never happen. (There are things one can do to feed the muse, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

I feel that means it's up to you, really. Treat it like a job, or just wait for it to be easy, there's no wrong answer here.

Me, I'm so fucking exhausted these days, it's definitely up to the muse to turn up. Doing it the other way will have to wait.

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