I used to think that my best writing came when I waited for the Muse
to appear before sitting down to write, then writing furiously until
my inspiration was spent.
In time my tactics changed. I discovered that if I took a little time
to read the work of some great writer before beginning to spill my own
words on to paper then I was more likely to write something a little
bit worthwhile, though I must add here that ‘worthwhile’ does not
imply useable as content for any particular piece. It may only be
something that might lead to the inkling of an idea for some future
work. I love these small gifts, little seeds which wait patiently
underground to germinate when the season is right, when their time has
Eventually I made my greatest discovery of all. It turned out to be
very, very simple. If I want to be a writer, then all I need do is
write. Every day. Whether I felt like writing or not. Whether the Muse
struck or not. And like all great truths this one was both simple and
hard. It’s easy to pick up a pen and start writing words, any old
words, down. It’s incredibly difficult to try and drag meaningful and
beautiful words from the depths of the dark interior of my mind, when
they really do not want to come out and play.
Still the fact remains that the Muse will only make her presence felt
if I demonstrate my commitment to the process by sitting at my writing
desk pen in hand, or opening a blank Word document on my lap top. So
what can I do except try?