I’ve written about my muse, Vye, before. She’s wonderful in so many ways, though, if I had to pick her fatal flaw where our partnership is concerned, it would be this: I cannot count on her to always be around to help.
It’s not her fault, really. She’s just being what she is. Muses are fickle by nature. There’s an unseen current that pulls and pushes them toward and then away from us, like smoke caught in a whirlwind.
I have strong feelings for Vye, and she has strong feelings for me. We’re both genuinely committed to the partnership we have forged as muse and writer. What I’m saying is, I know I can count on her…
…except when I can’t.
She’s a wild creature, not at all the type to adhere to a rigid schedule. When we finish a productive writing session, I look at her with hopefully eyes and say, “See you tomorrow, right?”
To which she invariable responds, “Maybe…,” always looking into the middle distance when she says it, her voice half-sighing as she speaks.
Sometimes she’s there the next day, and sometimes she’s not.
That, my friend, is the nature of inspiration. You simply cannot count on it. If you’re a serious writer, you’re going to have to endure writing sessions sans inspiration. Words won’t always feel like their flowing through you as though the voice of the universe is using you as its personal instrument. Nope. Sometimes, you’ll just be writing. Sentences will be clunky. Words you’ve known how to spell your whole life won’t look right on the page. You’ll feel like everything you’re producing is shit. Pure shit. The stinkiest, smelliest, most vile shit anyone has every bothered to record, and you’ll end up questioning whether or not you’re qualified to write reviews on Yelp, let alone a novel.
I have more writing sessions like that than I do with Vye. The inspired times are wonderful. They are magical. They revive me and help me along, but they are not the norm. The norm is work, and there is no way around it.
Don’t wait for inspiration to find you. Write. Write on the days when you feel guided by all seven of the classical muses, and write on the days when you feel utterly alone, a scratchy whisper muttering in the darkness.
Waiters wait, and you’re not a waiter. You’re a writer.