A Writer Must Show Up- Every Day- Even When the Muse Isn’t There

“You can’t say, I won’t write today because that excuse will extend into several days, then several months, then… you are not a writer anymore, just someone who dreams about being a writer.”

~Dorothy C. Fontana 

I didn’t write yesterday but it wasn’t because I didn’t want to.  I just didn’t have anything to say, well nothing that I felt was worthy of being read by you guys.  But today I am reminded that I must still write even when I don’t feel like it.  

I suppose if I had some deadline to reach (for an actual publisher or editor) I would be more inclined to write even when the mood doesn’t strike.  However, the only way I can get to that stage of writing with a deadline for a publisher or agent in mind, or writing an article for an editor on deadline, is if I act as if I have a deadline now.  I think I need to start making my own deadlines for certain things that I need to get accomplished and actually sticking to those deadlines as if my life depended on it (mostly because it does).  

Even if there is no publisher or agent waiting for my finished work right at this very moment, I am confident (most days) that there will be.  I need to make sure that when it counts I won’t find or create an excuse not to put my butt in the chair and write.  

It’s different when you write as a hobby because then you really can wait until the mood strikes you to write.  You can do other things that you are really motivated to do and when the story hits you a certain way, then you can go write it all down.  

On the other hand, a writer, a person who this is not a hobby for but rather something that they are driven to do and are meant to do, something that they can’t live their life without doing, can’t have that luxury.  We can’t just wait for that muse (which, let’s face it, doesn’t stick around 24/7) to hit us and we can’t not write until that muse strikes.  

This is our livelihood (at least it’s what we would like our livelihood to be) and to be successful at it we can’t just not show up to the desk to write.  We have to plant our butts in that chair at the desk or the dining room table, or wherever you write at, and get writing.  

Even if it sounds like garbage at first, it could very well be an unpolished jewel, waiting to be polished later on when your muse can begin to make it shine.  So for all of you out there who woke up today not feeling like you want to write, write anyway!  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

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Are You Waiting for the Muse To Strike?

“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.”

~Gerald Brenan~ 

There are a lot of notions and fantasies about being a writer.  The idea of waiting for the muse to suddenly walk into your atmosphere and only writing when inspired is a nice way to look at the life of a writer and a very nice fantasy.  It’s the way I looked at writing once upon a time, largely due to the fact that at one point in my life it seemed as if the muse never left me and I was always inspired in one way or another.  I never had a problem with only writing when inspiration struck because with me it always seemed to strike.  It was when the muse left and the inspiration was no longer an everyday occurrence that I started to wonder, “If the inspiration isn’t there and the muse is gone and I am not writing at a steady flow, can I still consider myself a writer?”  

There are still those writers’ who are always inspired and the muse seems to always be there for them and that is a wonderful thing.  But that alone is not the only thing makes a person a writer.  A person can still be a writer even if it means them having to appoint a designated time to write and put together a schedule of the projects that they need to work on.  Scheduling a time to write does not remove the artistic creativity in writing like so many people seem to think.  I mean if you think about it, that makes more sense doesn’t it?  A person who makes a living as a freelance writer can not simply wait to be inspired.  They have to make a plan of action and follow through with it or they don’t make a living.  

When I think of all of the time I have wasted waiting for some miraculous moment of inspiration to just jump up and hit me, I try not to think about the amount of novels I could’ve finished, or all of the magazines that I could’ve queried by now, or all of the many ideas I could have made come into fruition.  What makes a writer is someone who puts tenacity and determination behind their drive to write and sitting in that chair behind that desk in front of that computer even though the words might not come that day.  

Well if you are out there, sitting around and waiting for your muse and inspiration to suddenly strike like lightening, I am going to tell you that while you are waiting your ideas are going to waste.  Your characters are going to stop speaking to you, and the stories that they are trying to tell you are disappearing and losing ground.  While you are waiting, the ideas for those articles that you want to pitch to those prestigious magazines are being written by someone else who knew better then to wait.  The screenplays that you are dreaming about writing are already being written by some other writer and you will no doubt be seeing them on the big screen wishing you had woken up out of your sleep and put those ideas down on paper.  

It’s always nice when you can get inspired by something or someone and when you can find that perfect moment of uninterrupted inspiration.  But how many novels could you have written while you were waiting for that moment?  How many magazines could you have seen your articles placed in waiting for that one thing that inspires you to sit down and write?  Shouldn’t seeing your name in print be inspiration enough?  It is for me.  Until next time….make every moment count, even the uninspired ones!  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress