I think it was Stephen King in his great book “On Writing” who stated something to the effect that if you show up at the same spot and time everyday, the muse will do the same.
Okay, I found the quote. It’s much more articulate than my paraphrase (go figure):
“Don’t wait for the muse. As I’ve said, he’s a hardheaded guy who’s not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering. This isn’t the Ouija board or the spirit-world we’re talking about here, but just another job like laying pipe or driving long-haul trucks. Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ’til noon. or seven ’til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.”
As someone who has been hitting the keyboard from 6 am (sometimes earlier) to approximately 9 am (sometimes later) every day for the past six months, I can attest this to be true. My word count goal is not as ambitious as King’s. I try to write at least 1000 words, more if I’m on a streak which definitely happened this morning and I’m thrilled with what I was able to produce: new discoveries into my characters, metaphors falling effortlessly into place (a personal struggle of mine), glib lines of dialogue without the impediment of thought traveling effortlessly from my unconscious through my fingertips, reading back what I’ve written and thinking, Hey, not bad.
Good writing days are rare and wonderful events , because, as most of us trying to do this know, it ain’t easy. Like a lot of impulsive people (it’s tempering as I age), I enjoy the initial burst of creative inspiration which is why I have many folders filled with incomplete projects sprinkling my desktop. I never throw them out, even the horrible ones. Did I really write the first three chapters of a male escort romance titled Brent for Rent before I realized there is an entire genre of male escort romances on Amazon? Maybe I’ll finish it one day. Those flashes of inspiration are fun, but it’s the daily slog of rewriting that gets you to the finish line, and it’s painful.
Small victories along the way help. My featured Wattpad story has now reached the #5 spot (it may head back down, but I’m really hoping to get to #1). I’m so encouraged by the response it’s received (it doesn’t take much to encourage me), I’ve started writing the sequel. Series do well in YA I’m told, so I’m working on it. Today I reached 30,000 words and I hope to finish it by spring. Then there’s that neglected NaNoWriMo story waiting patiently in its folder for my attention. I promise to get to it this summer.
I guess I wouldn’t do any of this if I didn’t enjoy the torture on some level. Sometimes, on good writing days, the process is pure bliss. It’s a rare occurrence that only happens, I believe, if you really put in the work. So if you do and it does, enjoy it.