The Writer’s Biggest Excuse: Inspiration

We rarely accept guest posts. In fact, we’ve only posted two other guest posts to this blog. Today, we’ll add a third to the list.

Joel Falconer is a freelance writer who has everything it takes to make it. He’s a fantastic person with a mind for business, and he’s going after success with strong will and determination. That deserves a nod.

He’s been hiding out somewhere down in Auz, and we dragged him out to plunk him down and present him to you. Joel? The stage is yours, bro.

The more time I spend talking with other writers, the more I realize that we’re all involved in perpetuating and believing a massive myth.

Rather, the myth is just a big excuse whipped out of our back pocket at the end of the working day, the point where we realize we have zero words pulled from our minds and typed onto the screen.
“Damn. Well, inspiration didn’t hit today. My muse just isn’t with me.”

What? Sorry?

Hypothetical situation number one:

I’m a surgeon. I’m cutting a hole in some old man’s prostate, because all kinds of stuff gets stuck in there. (Or so I’ve been told. I certainly don’t know from experience.) I’m in the middle of a pleasantly gruesome stroke of my scalpel and suddenly… I run out of inspiration.

Hypothetical number two:

I’m a garbage man. I’m driving my truck from street to street when suddenly I think, “Hang on a second. I can’t do this. I’m not inspired!” Within a week, trash overflow has taken over global warming as the hot issue for politicians everywhere.

If you’re a professional, then you can’t keep kidding yourself. You can’t keep excusing yourself. You have a job to do and you had better damn well do it. It’ll only be done when you pull your finger out of your backside and start typing.

Some of you are still sitting there thinking, “But inspiration is a necessity! I can’t write without a brilliant strike of lightning hitting me on the head and knocking my pants off!”

Think again. This limited view of writing that we perpetuate on ourselves and have perpetuated on us is preventing writing from happening.

Nothing else.

If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it for yourself. Challenge this terrible misconception. Don’t just run an arbitrary little test; get a job as a beat journalist for a few weeks or ramp up your client base until you’re working fourteen hour days with deadlines five days a week.

You don’t have a choice: You have to sit down, write, and get on with it. This pressure alone will be enough to change your mind about inspiration.

The muse, our inspiration, has its place. When lightning strikes and our pants go missing, the words we write are, well… inspired. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not knocking your muse.

But our muse is an optional extra, a sweetener. She’s not the fundamental element of any good writer’s workflow. Making it so is a sure-fire way to kiss success goodbye. Writers who write regardless of blissful moments of nirvana have a few reams of paper to show for it.

That’s not to say quantity wins over quality. That’s to say that if one out of every 10 pages is quality work inspired by bliss, then the writer who writes 100 pages regardless of the muse has, then he or she has 10 pages of quality work.

The writer who makes excuses has one.

If you’re not a professional writer and writing is your hobby, it’s fine to depend on inspiration. I get that. You don’t have deadlines. If you want to write one page of that bottom-drawer novel a month, that’s totally cool.

If you are a professional writer, let’s get our facts straight.

I think that the written word and the stroke of a paintbrush and all the arts have the same potential to change the world that humanitarians and philanthropists with fat wallets and so on have.

But to have this view of writing means we’ve elevated writing into something that it most certainly is not. It’s potentially powerful, but it’s not that fickle.

Stop talking about writing. Sit down and write. Only then do you have a chance of producing content that can change the world – or at least give someone a cheap chuckle and an express ticket to snoozedom.

Want to cut through more excuses and get your writing done? Joel Falconer can tell you how. Visit Joel’s blog for more advice on freelancing, writing, productivity and the web. Hey, and he’s Australian, too.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment.

  1. Shamelle says:

    Hi Joel,
    I enjoyed reading your post and value your advice.

    Loved your writing voice. You seem very natural :-)

    Shamelle

  2. Great article and very inspiring

    nick’s last blog post..Wealth and riches part 1

  3. right. :)

  4. Joel,

    Good smack-down of writer’s block or (inspiration-block or whatever excuse we want to use).

    I’ve said it before as well. Most of this is due to laziness and procrastination.

    If we have a job to do, we need to do it. Period.

    And now I’m off to take care of some tasks I need to do.

    Jesse Hines’s last blog post..Grammar Still Matters: It Can Affect Your Career

  5. That reminds me of what I tell my kids when preparing for karate sparring – “just freakin’ DO it! Don’t worry, don’t hem, don’t haw, because if you’re attacked on the street you really can’t say, hang on old chap, I’m not yet inspired to fight you – let’s head down to the coffee shop shall we?”

    That being said, it really is tempting to let things go when the mood experienced is less conducive than staring at 23 unpaid bills. I’ve been guilty of that in the past … but at least I can now recognize when I’m deluding myself…and kick myself back into gear.

    Data points, Barbara

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach’s last blog post..WordPress for iPhone, download now! (PLUS 20 other resources)

  6. Graham Strong says:

    Hey Joel,

    Great piece.

    Mordecai Richler was once asked about finding inspiration. He said something along the lines of if he waited around for inspiration to hit, he’d never have written anything.

    ~Graham

    Graham Strong’s last blog post..What the Heck is Blog ROI?

  7. I think there are different situations in which you have to talk about inspiration. I don’t think it’s quite as cut-and-dried as Joel is talking about.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think Joel’s spot on when it comes to freelance writing work. For me, pen-for-hire work is my job. It’s what I do, every day, all year. Whether I feel like it or not, I get out of bed every morning, brush my teeth, drink some coffee, and I write. I write even when it’s cloudy outside or when I feel like dog poo because my allergies are flaring up. I write, even when I’d rather be golfing.

    But there are situations when inspiration does matter, and when it’s a legitimate factor to consider. Fiction writing, for example. Sometimes, you’ve got to have the muse to write good fiction. Yes, there are folks that crank out five or six novels a year, and they treat their fiction writing much like I do my freelance work; they’ve learned techniques that allow them to write their fiction with or without inspiration. I firmly believe they are the exceptions, however.

    For me, another one is blogging. I blog, mainly, to inspire other writers and help them reach for their dreams. If I do that in an uninspired fashion, chances are I’m not doing it very well. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for blogging without inspiration, just that my blog isn’t geared that way.

    Bob Younce at the Writing Journey’s last blog post..Tranquility

  8. Joel,

    Nice butt-kicking. I’m a big believer in that, too—we find time to moan about what we have time to moan about. If it has to be done, somehow, we manage it.

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Naming 101.1: What’s in a Name?

  9. Totally cool and absolutely right. Much like Thomas Edison’s “Genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration” — or Nike’s “Just do it”

  10. I agree with Joel.

    And, I don’t write professionally. Yet, even I do not rely on inspiration. It’s true, when a burst of inspiration hits you, your writing can be other worldly. But if you rely on it, you’ve totally limited yourself as a writer.

    And I don’t want to be limited. I want to be able to crank out really quality material when I’m inspired. And when I’m not.

    Inspiration at the moment of writing helps, but it is not a requisite for excellent material.

    Bamboo Forest’s last blog post..Realizing You’re a Magician Can Create Magic in Your Life

  11. Thanks everyone—I’m glad you’re enjoying the post!

    It’s definitely important to get past these hang-ups if you ever want to make a go of writing for a living and it’s good to see that many of you are thinking along the same lines. A few good quotes being posted here too.

    Barbara: I know how that feels. When something (like a troublesome bill) is weighing on my mind and preventing me from getting to work I seem to be able to get past it by finding some way to take action on the issue. It doesn’t have to be anything huge or even effective, it just needs to let me feel like I’ve done something about it and can move on.

    If it’s a bill I can’t pay on time, I’ll call the company and tell them it’ll be a few days past the due date before I pay, even if I don’t know how that’s going to work out—just so I can feel like I’ve taken action and can put it behind me for the day. It’s a bit of a self-deceiving lifehack, but if it lets me get work done… 😉

    Well, that tangent went off-topic! How about another?

    Bob: I agree with you, when the fiction writing or what have you is more of a hobby; something to do for fun and keep the creativity going alongside the dry writing we gotta do during the day. Otherwise, it becomes less of a hobby and less of something to do spontaneously and for fun. But if you’re a professional, like you and I with the freelance writing, it’s not so much an option. You gotta do it.

    I believe that to do good writing, you need a good idea. How you get it doesn’t matter so much. To many people, inspiration means waiting for an idea to come out of nowhere and hit them, which is not a good way to operate exclusively and this is what I was addressing in my post.

    But most good fiction writers and even bloggers will sit down and have a brainstorming session and do some legwork to come up with new ideas and put them together. This may be after getting one of those sudden out-of-nowhere ideas, or it may happen when the page is totally blank and they need something to work with. Even if it’s the latter, these can still be “inspired ideas,” but the difference is they didn’t wait for inspiration to come knocking—they went looking for it. There’s the difference (in my opinion, and you know I have a lot of respect for yours) between inspiration as an excuse and inspiration as a tool.

    I guess it all depends on how we’re defining inspiration. 😉

    Joel Falconer’s last blog post..The Power of Selective Guest Posting

  12. Oy. Touché.

    Thanks for the fantastic (and funny) post!

    steph’s last blog post..And Now for Something Completely Different: Life of Steph

  13. @ Bob – I’ll have to disagree. The wait time may be longer and the pressure may be off for those who don’t write for business, but those who wait too long become rusty and need to work harder to rebuild the flow of their work. You never forget how to write, but when out of habit, you do forget how to write well.

  14. I completly agree. I write no matter what. I committed myself to putting up so many posts and thats what I do. I told myself that I was going to write so many pages of my other writing a day and that’s what I do. Sometimes I sit there blinking at the screen for four hours and sometimes I whip it off in one, or two, but until its done I don’t leave. Once in a great while, I have to get some fresh air and come back, but…It’s what I do, so I do it. I don’t expect every day to be the Mona Lisa, I just expect it to be done. When it’s appreciated and helps someone, that’s the big pay off. But…there is also a pay off in knowing I stick to my committments. It builds up steam. You start to build confidence that SOMETHING will come out of the pen, even if you might want to re-shape it later, you will still have something to work with.

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..Weeds

  15. @ Joel Falconer: Yeah, good point. How are we defining “inspiration”? I carry a note pad wherever I go. And I write things down when inspiration hits. So, it may be argued that my ideas are sparks of inspiration. However, when I think of writing only when inspired I think of the notion of being on fire *while you write* not the ideas themselves.

    So yeah. I get most of my ideas through flashes of inspiration. But I build upon them via brain storming too. And usually write at a future time when an influx of inspiration is not present.

    Bamboo Forest’s last blog post..Realizing You’re a Magician Can Create Magic in Your Life

  16. I love it – the truth given to you straight, no chaser!

    Kimberly Ben’s last blog post..Getting it All Done: How Do You Manage Each Day?

  17. Luckily my butt was narrowly missed because I’m not a professional writer, so I get to cheat and wait for inspiration when I want to.

    I think what people do aside from just writing also affects their mojo. For example, inspiration happens when the mind is active, therefore you need to feed your mind and keep it pumping.

    Eat right, sleep good, day dream, make it a point to practice writing (anything) when you don’t feel creative, exercise, etc.

    In other words, train your mind to be a writing machine at all times and feed it so it stays healthy.

    Oh, and . . . hello Joel. Great post!

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..Videos To Help Craft A Better Website & Attract Attention

  18. Great post, Joel.

    There’s a lot going on in that “waiting for inspiration” — we’ve gotten so confused and mixed-up about where art/expression comes from that it’s a wonder so many of us are able to write at all! On the one hand, creativity is supposed to be otherworldy, to rise above the everyday — hence the need for “inspiration” — but on the other hand, it’s supposed to be unique and individual which would seem to mean looking inside ourselves and really getting to know ourselves, and that scares the tar out of most of us.

    More importantly, I find that my real quality work emerges in around the fourth draft. (Does that mean I write 4 drafts of everything I publish? Not even remotely…) As wiser men than I have said, there is no writing, there is only rewriting, and rewriting again. But nobody talks about inspiration in editing (except maybe editors) — in fact, the people who are most wed to the idea of waiting for inspiration to strike are the people most likely *not* to edit, the ones who claim that editing “sucks the life out” of their work, etc.

    It’s a real struggle for me, when I’m writing my first go at something, to write a bunch of crap and know that it will work out fine in the end — but it does, somehow. No inspiration needed.

  19. Good post…

    I think inspirations can only come when we’re writing. The biggest challenge is to write when we don’t feel like it. That will determine who we really are.

    Kristian’s last blog post..Acer Aspire X1200 will get your attention

  20. Lisa Wilder says:

    LOL! What an eloquent kick in the ass!

    I agree completely. Sometimes you just have to sit your butt in the chair and write.

    Lisa Wilder’s last blog post..Live in the Moment Booty Camp

  21. CommentLuv never picks up my last blog post. What makes me such a LuvLoser?

    Also, I’m now subscribed to replies.

    Dustin’s last blog post..Using Software to Track Submissions: Part 1 – Introduction

  22. Now isn’t that ironic?

    Dustin’s last blog post..Using Software to Track Submissions: Part 1 – Introduction

  23. @ Dustin – You badmouthed the Quebecois. We know. We get back at people in insidious ways.

  24. Straight from the shoulder, and in my case, very timely too. This post has once and for all cleared one excuse from my life – I hope!

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Greetings for Free

  25. Writing is my job. At the end of the day, I expect my wife to ask me what I did. Not just because I enjoy telling her, but because I want to be held accountable. If inspiration doesn’t strike on one project, move your thoughts to another. If you’re a writer with only one project, then you’re probably not working hard enough. I’ve never quite bought in to the cliche of the lone writer, sitting at his desk, pulling his hair in frustration as his beard grows long waiting for lightning to strike. It’s one of the reasons I still read Stephen King after forty some odd books. It’s the guys job, and I’m invited.

  26. Michael Martine says:

    Excellent post, Joel. Right on the money (in more ways than one). Skill & experience do not need or should be confused with inspiration.

    Michael Martine’s last blog post..What Smurf Are You on Your Blog?

  27. @ Sean – Very good point there. Being accountable for your business matters a great deal. Harry and I do hold each other accountable for certain tasks, and our thoughts often lean to, “Am I pulling my weight?” It’s a good thing.

    We may be in this together, which makes it easier, but anyone could use that strategy with a friend or partner.

    By the way, welcome to all the new faces. I’m letting Joel field his own comments today and just participating as a reader, but I am pleased to see new commentators come drop their thoughts. Welcome to the gang :)

  28. I guess the underlining theme is “writing well is work” – imagine that…

    From the outside, some activities look glamorous when in reality all jobs are work.

    Golf may look like it’s “all that” when Tiger plays, but it’s still work to him.

    Greg Walters’s last blog post..Shareholders Petition Court to Delay EDS/Hewlett-Packard Merger Vote, Announces Baron & Budd, P.C.

  29. I can agree and disagree.

    DISAGREE: Riding a wave of inspiration is when I have the most fun as a writer and as human beings, we always try to put ourselves in situations where we receive a big payoff, emotionally or financially. As a blogger, it’s pretty easy. When you’re riding the wave of inspiration, you save a slew of new posts as drafts and can dole them out as needed.

    AGREE: However, there are times when you just have to bite the bullet and realize that you have the SKILLS to do the job, even if you are not emotionally on the ball as far as being inspired.

    As an example, I write personal ads on my website. Sometimes I get a client that just doesn’t jive with me. Our personalities clash and I say to myself, “How can I make him look good enough that women will want to date him if *I* don’t like him?”

    Those are the toughest ads to write, but I have to write them. After all, there is someone out there for everyone, even “that guy”. At that point, my job is use my skills as a writer in order to create an attractive profile essay that gets him dates.

    Geek’s Dream Girl’s last blog post..e on 4e: Creating a Character

  30. Does anybody know where we got this ridiculous notion that writing and art are not primarily sheer show up everyday and do it kinds of disciplines? Oh yes, the muse is significant, but the muse is very tight with the personal trainer. And the personal trainer better be there to kick your sorry whiney butt into shape if you begin to think it isn’t about the work. To have strong fluid artistic muscles, you have to work out, consistently. Oh yes, there are off days and days of wondering, but you still do all the other endless stuff it takes to keep producing. Writing has to be the same I would imagine.
    Congrats Joel, excellent post. Kudos.

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..She Sells Seashells

  31. Very timely for me. I need to write some content for the startup I work for. The subjects are, let’s just say, not very inspiring. I’ve been struggling and waiting for inspiration to strike. But you are right. I should JUST DO IT.

    Thank you.

    Vered’s last blog post..I Need Your Support Today

  32. Excellent piece of work.

    I’ve found that sometimes pressure in and of itself can create something that, if it’s not actually inspiration, is close enough to it to make very little difference. I had a really long period in which the closest I was coming to writing was running games, and I couldn’t think of anything else. It didn’t really change until I started getting back into things that gave me deadlines, like writing contests on my favorite message board or assignments for my creative writing classes–or, nowadays, daily posting. A deadline may not be as eloquent as a muse, but it’s certainly done a lot for me.

    Ravyn’s last blog post..Character Evolution: The Company They Keep

  33. Excellent post! I am a former English Teacher, present business owner in sales, and pretty good writer. My husband is a journalist, a former beat reporter, and an award-winning writer. Together we have four blogs and a writing business.

    He says “write every single day”, even if it’s in your journal. He doesn’t believe in “writer’s block” or inspiration for its own sake, either. When he’s trying to flush out something, he’ll stop and read and/or watch a movie on his laptop. I go back and study all of these fabulous blogs.

    One of the best things I learned both from a blogger/teacher and from being married to a journalist is to keep an editorial calendar for my blogs. That really helps us to keep on track…sometimes, I’ve written something to be posted a couple of weeks in the future, because it was on my calendar to write about it.

    Thank you so very much…

    BTW: motivation and inspiration are different; inspiration comes from without, motivation comes from within. A good article or great song can inspire you; needing to make your next month’s rent can motivate you! Someone else can inspire you; but you have to be self-motivated.

    waterprise2’s last blog post..Shopping in Detroit: Pewabic Pottery

  34. I totally agree. If you write to pay the bills, you can’t wait for the inspiration. You have to write when you’ve committed yourself. And even something that sounds like it needs to be inspired, such as a novel, actually requires about 10% inspiration and the rest of it is pure grit.

    Katherine’s last blog post..5 Best Ways to Express Yourself Skillfully With Words

  35. Great post Joel. I think that once your brain sees that you’re serious, you’re sitting at the computer, your fingers are poised over the keyboard, and you’re about to start typing, it usually takes its cue and starts coming up with ideas. But as long as you’re lying on a hammock waiting for inspiration to strike, your brain is usually taking a break as well.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Six Steps to Creating the Life You Really Want

  36. Most writers who have inspiration issues are merely covering up their true nemesis: fear. The inspiration is there if you have the courage to get to work.

    And if you’re wondering, I’ve never lacked inspiration but courage is another matter entirely.

    Jamie Grove – How Not To Write’s last blog post..The Maybe Flower – What Maybe Does to Your Writing

  37. Michael Martine says:

    “I’ve never lacked inspiration but courage is another matter entirely.”

    Amen. Right on.

    Michael Martine’s last blog post..What Smurf Are You on Your Blog?

  38. I really like The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. (If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it for anyone struggling with issues of inspiration and fear.)

    In it, he quotes Somerset Maugham. Someone asked Maugham whether he writes on a schedule or only when inspired. He replied, “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”

    I just love that quote.

    Julie’s last blog post..Is the Domino Effect Blocking Your Progress?

  39. Alright, everyone deserves a response, so here goes:

    @ Julie – Hehe, I should tape that to my wall. Or no, wait! I should integrate that into the Life of a Freelancer everyone things is so blissful! Ha!

    @ Jamie – I speak from experience when I say courage is not always a good thing. Especially when it’s usually followed by, “What’d you do now, James?”

    @ Marelisa – Some days, writing does come easy. It can take a long, long time to get something that sounds not to bad out. But it’s out. And when that quick inspiration hits (and it does; have coffee), you can ride the wave and fix up that “not too bad” into great.

    @ Katherine – Novels are a damned lot of work once the fun stuff is over. I agree.

    @ Water – I would really like to try an editorial calendar one day. You brought up a good point, too. Sometimes taking a small break helps a great deal.

    @ Ravyn – A deadline makes you accountable to yourself or others. It’s a good thing.

    @ Vered – I hope it’s not Forex trading. If it is, you have my sympathies.

    @ Janice – I think it comes from allowing art to be elevated beyond the everyday and everyone trying to be the next DaVinci of the pen, be it writing or painting. I like your analogy of a workout… hehehe but you poked at my mental image of you, tsk tsk. Don’t play with that. Must stay firm.

    @ Geek – Good point, there. Turn something dull into a challenge and suddenly it becomes a game.

    @ Greg – Everything looks great from the outside, so true. My teen is thinking of what area she might want to work in later on, and I’m giving her the unglory. Hairdresser (on your feet all day with your arms up). Stewardess (puking). Ziplining guide (the weather). Nutritionist (okay, that’s a good one…)

    Point is not to discourage her, of course, but to give a realistic view for a more informed choice. People have to take the good with the bad. And the bad side of writing? You gotta write when your muse isn’t there.

    @ Michael – Can beer be mistaken for wine? I rest my case.

    @ Sean – Y’already got your comment, buddy 😉

    @ Nicole – Oh, don’t worry. Excuses have a way of creeping back, so that gives us something to write about in the future 😉

    @ Dustin – No second comment for you either. Unless you sing, “I love Quebec” parading up and down your street at noon.

    @ Lisa – Butt-kicks are a little bit of a trademark around here. Joel did a nice job of filling our shoes.

    @ Kristian – I think inspiration likes to hide. You have to take a break and look for it sometimes, but you do have to end your break and come back to the desk.

    Okay. My fingers just fell off. Thanks for commenting everyone, great stuff!

  40. James: Obviously there’s something in your mind that makes you believe that I don’t already parade up and down my street every day singing “I love Quebec”. Weird.

    Dustin’s last blog post..Using Software to Track Submissions: Part 2 – Using a Spreadsheet

  41. Proof. I want proof.

  42. Hey everyone, thanks for the great comments you’ve been leaving—sorry I didn’t stop by again sooner before the party ended, you know, opposing time zones and all that. :) I gotta sleep sometime!

    And like James, I want proof, Dustin. On YouTube please. And we’ll publish the link for all 70,000 readers of Lifehack to see.

    Joel Falconer’s last blog post..The Power of Selective Guest Posting

  43. When I’m in the middle of a project, I never wait for inspiration. I write, but I also take days off for “I don’t feel like writing days” because I always write long before deadlines are due. I’ve been that way since university – starting essays as soon as I got them so that I could take down days.

    Cheers,
    Alex

    Alex Fayle’s last blog post..Vacation Notice

  44. Wow! I followed you over here from your blog. Guess I needed a good kick in the pants to get me writing more…. thanks for doing it with such wit and wisdom. And thanks for introducing me to Men With Pens (I’m adding it to my feedburner right now.)

  45. This reminds me of a really cute romantic comedy I saw recently, called Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barry more. In it they are trying to write a song together and Drew starts complaining that she can’t do it because she doesn’t have any inspiration and Hugh Grant starts bellowing at her “Inspiration! Inspiration! Inspiration is for AMATEURS!!!”

    Great post!

  46. @ Chris – Now I’m going to have to go find that movie, because I can just about picture Hugh’s face when he says that. Too funny.

Trackbacks

  1. The Power of Selective Guest Posting | Joel Falconer says:

    […] There’s a blog that has a whole lot of respect throughout the blogosphere and from myself personally. If you’re a regular reader of this site, no doubt you know the Men with Pens. They practice selective guest posting, too—and today, I’m their third. […]

  2. […] – The Writer’s Biggest Excuse: Inspiration “The writer who makes excuses has one.” (tags: discipline inspiration writing) […]

  3. […] hard for some to get into the mood for writing. We have plenty of excuses for that lack of inspiration. The laundry needs to be washed, the house is dirty, the desk is cluttered, it’s raining, […]

  4. […] Joel Falconer, in a guest post for Men With Pens, describes our muse as “an optional extra, a sweetener. She’s not the fundamental element of any good writer’s workflow. Making it so is a sure-fire way to kiss success goodbye. Writers who write regardless of blissful moments of nirvana have a few reams of paper to show for it.” […]

  5. […] Joel Falconer, in a guest post for Men With Pens, describes our muse as “an optional extra, a sweetener. She’s not the fundamental element of any good writer’s workflow. Making it so is a sure-fire way to kiss success goodbye. Writers who write regardless of blissful moments of nirvana have a few reams of paper to show for it.” […]

  6. […] My first (proper) post on Write for Your Life looked at the concept of the muse. I suggested, a little controversially it turned out, that we writers can be tempted to hide behind this mythical being when things are going wrong – and others agree with me. […]

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