How to Fall in and Out of Love With Your Muse

Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

“There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement kind of guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you. Do you think it’s fair? I think it’s fair. He may not be much to look at, that muse-guy, and he may not be much of a conversationalist, but he’s got inspiration. It’s right that you should do all the work and burn all the mid-night oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic. There’s stuff in there that can change your life. Believe me, I know.”

Stephen King

I can’t tell you where to find your muse-guy. It might be a corner-booth in a crowded bar. It might be in your own house, in your own bed, as you struggle to fall asleep.

You might even find your muse in the subway, as you ride home after work.

Stranger things have happened.

I can tell you only that when you find this muse, every civilized instinct in your soul will disappear. You’ll suddenly feel this itch, impulsive as hell, a complete disregard for rules or consequences.

You will want to create something of your own. You will want to do what you can, with whatever’s at your disposal at that moment. Right there, right then. If you have to write your story on a piece of napkin, so be it. If you have to sketch on your phone, fine.

When you find your muse, you will feel yourself becoming addicted to the promise of doing work you hope could last forever.

The goal isn’t to live forever. We all die. We all know that. The goal, however, is to create something so beautiful, almost as beautiful as the things we can imagine, and then hope it’s going to last forever in the hearts and minds of everyone else.

However, it is of utmost importance that you go home. Seriously. Go home and get to work.

When you find your muse, listen to the voice of inspiration. You won’t be able to sleep anyways. You might feel the need to pick up smoking, or some other bad habit. The side-effects of inspiration are often teeth grinding, a loss in appetite, and taking longer than usual showers, so you can brainstorm until the skin on your fingers gets all wrinkled.

Continue reading “How to Fall in and Out of Love With Your Muse”

6 Books Every Writer Should Read

Photo by David Kennedy on Unsplash

Oscar Wilde once said that, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

Writing as an art can’t be taught, and even though Creative Writing courses and workshops undoubtedly help writers grow, writing is a solitary process, and it’s up to each individual to reach within the confines of his mind for answers.

Writers are unique to the extent that even if someone would try to replicate the same career a fellow writer had, he would most likely fail to achieve the same success. A lot of factors come to play in this, including luck, and blindly following a writer’s advice is not the most suitable of actions. What worked for him might not work for you. Instead, you should absorb the rules others have used before you and change them according to your own style and needs.

There are no maps to guide you in this journey. All you get are some folks who are more than happy to help you find your way from time to time.

Continue reading “6 Books Every Writer Should Read”

How to Improve Your Writing… Right Now

Many of you would love to write better short stories or poems, more compelling blog posts, more intriguing articles. And you’ve probably heard all the old advice by now. Practice makes perfect. Get your 10,000 hours in. Just show up and write.

And of course, these are all great ideas, but implementing them takes a lot of time. It’s not like you can write for 10,000 hours in a week or so. It’s not physically possible.

Or as they say…

What if I were to tell you there are a couple of ways you can improve your writing right now? No years and years of practice required.

What would you say?

Well, you’d be glad you decided to read this post. 

Continue reading “How to Improve Your Writing… Right Now”

The Most Beautiful Lines…

“The apartment below mine had the only balcony of the house. I saw a girl standing on it, completely submerged in the pool of autumn twilight. She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”J.D. Salinger

I have always considered these words to be some of the most beautiful I have ever read. The most breathtaking description. Simple, yet so effective in the way it makes you imagine someone with almost godlike characteristics into existence.

The Writer: Episode #5

“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”Ernest Hemingway

The Writer has always been curios.

Why?

This is the one question that has always defined him as a person. The Writer has always wanted to know why things were the way that they were, why someone worked (or it didn’t) and why certain things happened and not their opposite.

The same principle seemed to apply to people. It was more important to know why they did what they did, rather than try to understand how or when or with whom.

People were one way or another because of their why. Continue reading “The Writer: Episode #5”

The Best Movies about Writers

Finding Forrester (2000)

In a way, I just couldn’t start with any other  movie, simply because Finding Forrester was so cute and sweet and sincere that I almost cried at the end.

Starring Sean Connery and his manly voice in the role of William Forrester, a very successful and yet reclusive writer, this movie actually has some pretty good advice on writing. Continue reading “The Best Movies about Writers”

The Writer: Episode #4

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” J.D. Salinger

The Writer remembers the first time he read Dune by Frank Herbert. How he wanted to write something just as good. He spent a lot of time wishing he had written that novel, that he had come up with those ideas, that the universe invented by Herbert had belong to him instead.

He then proceeded to read other novels, other stories that made him wish he had written them into existence instead of their authors.

The stories he read had been written by people who had known him. Or so it seemed. People who had been through the same experiences, and used words so eloquently to express what resided in his soul.

But isn’t that what stories are all about? Isn’t that why we invented words?

So we can understand that there are others who feel the same way we do? That we are not alone? That our sorrows and joys have been experienced by someone else?