Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop where insecure writers like myself can share our worries and offer advice and encouragement. Click here to find out more about IWSG and see a list of participating blogs.
You could call this a writing exercise, or you could say it’s a way of flexing the imagination’s muscles. Every once in a while, I stop whatever I’m doing and ask my muse a question. I may even write the question down, to make sure she understands it clearly. Then I wait and try to imagine how my muse might answer. Sometimes, surprising flashes of inspiration come.
If I ask a story related question, my muse tends to get back to me pretty quickly. Muses are good at figuring out story stuff. But sometimes I ask bigger questions—real life questions. With those sorts of questions, it takes my muse a little longer to respond. Sometimes a whole lot longer.
Recently, I asked my muse: “If I was born to be a writer, why is writing so hard for me?” You see, I’ve always believed that God made me to be a writer, or at least to be a creative person of some kind. While my feelings about organized religion have changed a lot in recent years, that core belief is still there: writing is my purpose in life.
And yet writing is so absurdly difficult! Why does it have to be that way? Just motivating myself to pick up a pen and get started each morning is such a struggle. I have to wonder why I keep forcing myself to do it. I feel like Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a mountain only to watch it roll all the way back to the bottom at the end of the day.
Yes, I may be making progress in the sense that I’m getting words down on paper. Yes, my current WIP is creeping ever closer to completion. But it doesn’t matter. Each night, that boulder (which represents my motivation to write) rolls back down the mountain, and each morning my motivation starts at zero once again.
My muse spent a long time pondering my question. I suspect she may have fluttered off, leaving me alone for a time while she consulted with the High Council of Muses, or maybe she embarked on some other epic quest, fighting dragons and seeking out forbidden muse knowledge. Days went by. It was over a week before she came back. And then she said to me: “Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.”
And of course my muse is right. There are many things that have come easily in my life; I don’t value those things the way I value the things I had to fight for, or struggle for, or sacrifice for. Writing is hard work. It will always be hard work. And that’s okay because if it weren’t hard work, it would not feel so rewarding when I get my writing done.