#IWSG: The Patience of a Muse

Hello, friends!  Welcome to this month’s meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop created by Alex J. Cavanaugh and cohosted this month by Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner.  If you’re a writer and if you feel insecure about your writing life, then click here to learn more about this wonderfully supportive group!

I like to write, but I don’t like to talk about writing.  Whenever I talk about writing, I end up reminding myself just how tedious and frustrating the writing process can be.  Fortunately, my muse is always eager to talk about writing, even when I’m not in the mood, so today I’m going to turn the floor over to her.  My muse has something to say, and perhaps it’s something you and your muse would like to hear.

* * *

They don’t tell you this in muse school, but we muses need to play the long game with our writers.  Writers are born to write, but that does not mean they’re born with all the skills and abilities necessary for writing.  The day I first met my writer—the human I was assigned to guide and inspire throughout his creative life—I found him utterly unprepared and woefully ill-suited for writing.

We had to start with the basics.  I began by encouraging my writer to take an interest in the alphabet.  He had these wooden blocks with letters on them.  Those helped.  Then I got him interested in words.  Spelling was a challenge for many, many years, but we worked through that.  Then came grammar, syntax, rhymes and rhythm—allegory, metaphor, irony, parallelism—comedy and tragedy—classic literature and genre fiction…  We made progress.  My writer has learned much since I first met him; he also still has much to learn.

But writers are human, of course, and they can be stupid in the way all humans are stupid.  They like instant gratification.  They want quick, easy solutions to their problems, including their writing-related problems.  But writing is a skill that improves slowly.  Gradually.  The growth of a writer happens so slowly and so gradually that it may be almost imperceptible, even to writers themselves. Some writers may fool themselves into believing that they’re not improving at all, or they may start to fear that improvement is not possible.  They forget how far they’ve come, and they worry themselves sick over how much further they still has to go.

Needless to say, as a muse, you must never give up on your writer.  More importantly, though, never let your writer give up on him or herself.  Make your writer keep writing.  Make your writer keep practicing, keep trying.  Do that, and the writing will get better.  I promise.

29 thoughts on “#IWSG: The Patience of a Muse

  1. Like your post. Every word, except I promise? How can you promise something outside of your control? I get so confused when people say this… I know it’s meant to be reassuring and encouraging, but to me a promise is something once made we cannot not fulfil,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I hesitated to include that part, but I felt that the point really needed to be emphasized somehow. If you keep practicing, you will improve. You might not always feel like you’re improving, but you are.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I usually don’t see improvement in my writing until I’ve looked back on writing I did several years ago. Sometimes I’ll feel the improvement but we can’t rely on just that. From what your muse says, it sounds like you’ve improved a lot. Your writing here at your blog is definitely good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yeah, when I go back and re-read stuff I wrote a year ago, or five years ago, of fifteen years ago, I can definitely see the progress I’ve made. Still hard to keep that perspective, though, when get stuck on some little thing in whatever my current writing project happens to be.


    1. I’m the same. I need to take breaks from writing, of course, but to actually stop for good? Or for any extended period of time? Even if I wanted to do that, I think it would take a lot of willpower to make it happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate your muse’s words of wisdom. 2022 was a struggle and I think my muse went on vacation LOL. She’s back now, and we’re working on some changes to our relationship. Still working out those kinks, but pushing forward all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just found your site and will have to come back and read more of it – I have a note – getting old now need notes!:) the muse can take a lifetime to change things – but mine is a hardy soul and keeps me company – more of an imp than the graceful lady your muse is:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very Interesting thought about muse!

    I keep losing my muse quite often…I loved the cartoon so much 🙂
    am back to blogging only recently. Sadly unable to write much!

    I read u during a to z……..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha ha! Love it James 😀 I’ve not IWSG’d this month as co-hosting (and the flu) wiped me out last month. Fortunately I had a batch of posts ready prepped for my general blog, but new stuff – nah! I’m getting the energy back S L O W L Y…

    Liked by 1 person

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