writing is an act of will

I wrote this a while back and it’s worth mentioning that I feel more fondly of my muse these days. Writing is coming along and I’m well into my current project. But the fact remains that writing is work and there are days when I want to, or at least know I need to, and struggle to find the right words.

No offense to you, Violet, darling (my muse—don’t ask), but there is some truth to the rant that follows. Enjoy this extremely cynical take on the writer’s struggle.

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The title says it all.

Inspiration is a fickle muse. She’s flirty and terribly tempting, but not reliable at all. Take tonight, for example. I want to write. I desire it. I find myself not only feeling like I should be plugging away at what I hope will one day be a novel, but actually wanting to make some progress with it. However, Inspiration eludes me. She text-messaged me earlier telling me that she was already here, sitting at my computer waiting for me. When I came in the door from work she waived and gave me a shy smile, promising not to move until after I’d worked out.

Fool that I am I listened to her.

Now I’ve worked out and eaten and she is nowhere to be seen. She left the apartment. She didn’t even bother to pen a quick post-it to tell me when she’ll be back. I have no idea who she’s with tonight, but she’s a party girl with extremely loose scruples so there’s really no telling.


I say all of that to say that you cannot count on her. You simply can’t. Even at this moment, writing a post for my humble blog, I am willing myself to write and trying desperately to be witty and interesting. God knows my muse isn’t here to see me through. She’s probably doing Jell-O shots right about now with some guy named Stew who fancies himself a young Salinger but thinks he needs weed to write anything decent. Ten-to-one she’s rolling him a joint this very minute. Seriously, the girl is no good.

But the written word, that you can count on. So I write. I write when I feel like it and I write when I don’t. Inspiration comes and goes. It’s great when she’s here—everything you put to paper feels like magic—but I can’t let her run-around ways keep me from being productive. That’s my goal, anyway. Admittedly, it’s much easier said than done.


  1. I can relate to this so well, I’m surprised I didn’t write this. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one. I’m also happy to read that you still plug away, muse or not. That’s the only way to survive.
    Good luck.

  2. dex Author

    Thanks, SC. It’s late tonight, but I’ll be checking out your blog tomorrow. I appreciate the comment, though, as well as knowing that there are others out there who feel the same way. You keep at it, too!


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