A while back, when I was working at Tulane University as an editorial manager, I remember interviewing a promising candidate for a job writing feature stories for our magazine. Her clips were good. She seemed marginally sane (always a concern in New Orleans). A sure bet, right?
Then she lost the job with one slip of the tongue. “I tend to do a lot of my writing in the evenings,” she said. “My muse tends to visit more then.”
Resume=round file. I didn’t have time for no stinkin’ muse.
I don’t know how many of you are in my boat, but I imagine there are quite a few. I work a full-time job. I don’t have kids, but I do have a demanding 85-year-old to contend with. I have personal stuff pulling at me just like everyone else. My writing time is very, very limited.
So here’s the hard, cold truth. If you’re in the boat with me, you do not have the luxury of waiting for a muse. You don’t have time for no stinkin’ writer’s block.
Now that I’m writing fiction and trying to make a second career out of it, I don’t write on hard deadlines unless my publisher has revisions. I write out of sheer desperation. If I only have two hours a day to write, I can’t afford to wait on some muse to come wafting in the window.
Do I get frustrated? Sure. Do I throw out a bunch of crap? Sure, but not as much as one might think. Do I have days when I don’t write because I’m sick, or working overtime, or have too many blog entries to write? Oh, yeah. And let’s not even mention Twitter, the most addictive time-suck of the universe, created by Satan expressly to to derail promising writing careers.
My cure for writer’s block? Just sit down, butt in chair, and write already.
Want to read what some other writers think about muses and writer’s block? My brainstorming partner over at Wastepaper Prose asked an amazing group of published YA authors their thoughts on this very issue. You can read their answers here and here. But leave a comment before you go. Am I being a total author bitch here? Sorry. It’s 11:30 p.m., and I need to check my Tweets.