TMM: But it’s not even midnight.

tmmThe muse does not wait for you to get ready. The muse does not appear when you want it to appear.

This is what we like to say to ourselves whenever we don’t feel like writing. When we’re too hungry, too tired, too cold to write. When we’ve got other things to think about. When the world seems out-of-balance in such a way that you writing would simply cause the Universe to implode.

We all know them. All the little excuses procrastinators use when they need to avoid writing.

But the truth is, you spend enough time staring at a blank screen words will magically appear on it. Well, not exactly, but you’ll somehow find yourself typing on your keyboard.

As long as you keep telling yourself that the muse is just a figment of your imagination, that you’re actually in control of the outcome, you can write anytime you want. You can write when you feel like it and when you don’t feel like it.

Of course, this, as many other aspects of writing, is easier said than done.


27 thoughts on “TMM: But it’s not even midnight.

  1. Interesting entry. I don’t have a problem getting words to appear (My writing is more like an addiction) – it’s a problem getting the right words to appear.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. You know, I like this post. I really do. That’s how I have been feeling all day today – not in the mood to write. So instead of putting out stuff that’s not my best, I kept procrastinating. However, I like the author’s tone, when he said, “Of course, this, as many other aspects of writing, is easier said than done.” Furthermore, this is closer to the truth than I could even imagine.

  3. I can completely relate to this; with not only my writing but my art. Especially when you’re in an awful stage where you have thoughts and inspiration of brilliance but lack just a little bit of ompf to make it translate into what you’re creating, it is tempting to just put it off all together.

  4. I can always come up with a million excuses not to write but then I get all cranky until I force myself to just do it and then am totally amazed at how happy it makes me . . . 🙂

  5. “I’ve been working hard on [Ulysses] all day,” said Joyce.

    Does that mean that you have written a great deal?” I said.

    Two sentences,” said Joyce.

    I looked sideways but Joyce was not smiling. I thought of [French novelist Gustave] Flaubert. “You’ve been seeking the mot juste?” I said.

    No,” said Joyce. “I have the words already. What I am seeking is the perfect order of words in the sentence.”

      • Hi Matt… I can’t remember, it was a conversation between Joyce and his friend (obvious and probably not helpful). I suggest you copy it and search on old Google. Sorry I can’t be of more help right now, teaching a class! Will look into it tonight and get back to you again.

  6. To be honest, I personally find that just staring at the screen never works. If I want to write and nothing is coming out, I leave my computer to do some exercise first; when I get back, I always seem much more able to write.

  7. Thank You. For years I’ve been putting up with a somewhat rascally, good-for-nothing muse, that not only likes to work odd hours, but also enjoys going on frequent, unannounced vacations for extended periods of time– so this was just what I needed to read. I’m a painter, but its valuable advice for anyone who ever feels at the mercy of of their so-called “muse.”

    BTW… I love your blog! You make your insights and experiences as a writer, translate to the experiences of any artist– regardless of their medium– and this post is a great example of that.

  8. Still don’t have this one worked through myself, sometimes it is easier than others, but I read a good guide for writers years ago by Julia Cameron, The Right To Write. She explained that gentle but firm self-discipline was the key, writing regularly, no matter how little or how useful the words that were produced, over time it would become a habit and easier. I think she was right.

  9. I am experiencing an extended period of disagreement with my muse…..I want to go one direction with my writing, my muse is pushing me in a different direction. The inner conflict has nearly halted all creative flow. Bah!

  10. My creative writing on my blog prepares me as I go finding a certain subject to write about. This post helps to think of new things & go checking out where I want to be by giving me things I need outside or inside will start my mind working in more ways than one. I go for a few days & then just slowly need to go through that cycle again. I guess that’s just me!

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