Don’t Wait for the Muse

It’s true, I’ve been hiding from writing. I can’t exactly pinpoint why. I had been chalking it up to the ebb and flow of inspiration but today I sit soaked in shame from the excuse. Even more sad than that, it was inspiration that nudged me this way. Sitting at my desk, listening to newly released old Jeff Buckley demos I got to thinking about the singer I adore so much. He was always in motion, pushing step by step to his goal of perfect music. Even when stunted, like the year leading up to his death, he kept trying. That is what struck me and reminded me that I need to be better. You can’t just put down the pen when the words aren’t flowing, that is what writer’s block wants you to do. You have to continue to jot down words, even if they’re banal and horrible.

After the jolt I decided to consult an old friend. Writers and artists, actually anyone really, should grab a copy of On Writing by Stephen King. I’ll admit, I have not read a ton of his fiction as I’m not the horror type (which most of his writing is, genre-wise) but this bit of prose is somewhat of a bible for me. Every time I need to be shoved in the right direction, I flip through its pages. Today’s read, pregnant with fate, led me to a particular line: “Don’t wait for the muse.” I’m aware that this notion is not horribly groundbreaking but it was a shot in the arm. Certainly a case of right place at the right time however.

Another idea he shared that spoke to me was that one of the reasons for his success is staying married. While I’ve only been married for two and a half weeks now, I’ve been in the relationship for nearly three years. When the swell of realization hit me I messaged her immediately. I said that I needed to be held accountable and I’d share my goals with her so she could remind me. Her response was a simple “Do it up, sunshine.” That’s all it takes. In the last few months when I’ve been my lowest about writing, she never faltered. That’s what love is about, lifting one another up. I’m grateful for that.

So this post is a deceleration of sorts, no more fucking around. As President Bartlet said on the West Wing, “You know what? Break’s over.” 

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