Forget the Muse; Just Write

 More than 30 years of writing for newspapers taught me one truth: You can’t sit around waiting for the “Writer’s Muse” to show up.

Try this as an excuse with a newspaper editor: “I didn’t get anything written today. My muse didn’t show up.”

Another writer, a friend of mine, once told me, “It’s easier writing for newspapers. You know what you’re going to write about.”

Well … No. There is still a certain amount of creativity in writing news stories. Yes, you’re dealing with facts, and you can’t mess around with the truth. But …

But whether you’re writing a mystery thriller or reporting the details of last night’s city council meeting, you still have to engage your reader – and I would argue that it’s a lot easier to get most readers involved in the former than in the latter.

Here’s the point: If your goal is to be a professional writer, plant your seat in a chair and write something every day.

Set a daily goal … x number of words, x number of pages, x amount of time devoted to writing. It won’t happen every day.

It is, however, a target to aim for.

Don’t expect to turn out perfect, award-winning prose every day. Some days it will, indeed, feel as if your muse is with you, and the ideas – and words – will flow. Other days, it may be a real struggle to get anything written.

If you can’t focus on the WIP, then write something else. Jot down notes for future plot developments. Write character descriptions. Write a blog. Edit your previous day’s writing. The key is to write. Writing is a craft as much as – if not more than – an art form. As with any craft, the more you practice, the more you develop your skills.

You may also discover that, over time, writing becomes a habit. Especially if you set aside a certain time each day – an hour or so in the morning … or around lunch time … or in the evening – as that time approaches, your thoughts turn to your WIP, or the blog you want to write.

You may discover that you no longer have to wait on your muse; she’s there waiting for you.


You could win an ebook. Leave a comment to my blog, and you’ll be entered in an end-of-the-month drawing for a free copy of an ebook in my Portals fantasy/suspense series. Three to choose from: Shadow Path, Stormcaller and Deathtalker.


About plblairportals

I'm a native of Tyler, Texas, formerly of Rockport and Corpus Christi - setting for my Portals books - before moving to Sheridan, WY. A newspaper reporter with more than 30 years' experience, I started my first Portals novel (Shadow Path) in 2006. Four of my fantasy/detective novels have been published to date, more are in the works. I share my life with three dogs and a cat - all rescues - read voraciously and research Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse pedigrees as a hobby.
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4 Responses to Forget the Muse; Just Write

  1. Love this post Pat, it’s so true, the less you write the less you are inspired to.
    Blessed Be

  2. Getting into a good writing habit is so important. I try to draft for at least 10-20 minutes each day, even if it’s just getting some basic ideas down. Then I go back to it the next day to edit.

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