Waiting For The Muse


Muse - Museum3.001“What was the best writing advice you ever received?”

Last week I was asked what advice was most helpful to me when I was began writing.  Without a doubt, it was: Butt in chair, Hands on Keyboard (BIC-HOK).  I’m not sure who came up with that phrase, but like how some use the Godfather as the answer to all of life’s questions, BIC-HOK is usually the ticket to all writing quandaries.

How did you finish you book?

Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

What was the secret to making the bestseller list?

Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

Of course writing is creative, wrapped up in myths and legends about inspirations and muses, and I must respect the creative process.  But there’s also realities, like mortgages, bills and your kids’ looming tuition that comes around like clockwork every fall and spring.

I’ve heard and yes, even used, phrases like, “I’m waiting for my muse” or “I’m just not feeling inspired to write”.  But what I’ve found is that for me, those are excuses and permission to myself not to write.  Because although butt in chair, hands on keyboard is simple advice, it’s not easy advice to take.  Writing can be agonizing on a dozen different levels.

chair-1049325_640But what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?  So write.  Write through the plot holes, and the lack of character development and that you have no idea how the book is going to end.  Don’t worry that what you’re writing sucks.  As my dear friend, Gena Showalter likes to say, “You can fix suck.”

No more waiting around for your muse.  Be your own muse.


If you enjoyed this post, you may like Begin and A Page A Day.




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