Writers, abandon your muses – they’re a work of fiction!

This first (proper) post is something of a mission statement. You see, I don’t believe in the concept of the muse. The idea is a complete myth. I mean literally, it is. Wikipedia told me so:

In Greek mythology, the Muses … embody the arts and inspire the creation process with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music, and dance.

The muse concept is still going strong.  Writers often cite their muse, or lack of one, when they’re struggling to write. But I’m not having it.

To me, the muse is a nonsense-notion spouted by writers, artists and other creative types who want to give their procrastinating a fancy name.

Excuses, excuses

Here’s the sort of claptrap they come out with:

‘I wanted to write, but my muse deserted me.’

No, you wanted to write, but Strictly Come Dancing* was about to start and that sounded like more fun and less work.

‘I couldn’t possibly write as my muse wasn’t working.’

Rubbish. The ideas didn’t come easily, so you started thinking about what to have for lunch and whether to go downstairs for another cup of coffee.

And you know what? That’s just fine.

If your mind’s not on it or you can’t find the words, it’s okay to walk away. Don’t write. Accept that sometimes you’re not going to have the motivation or the sparkling ideas and do something else instead. Anything. So long as it’s legal.

How writing really works

Let’s get one thing clear: there’s no celestial literary overlord hovering above your brain-box, all dressed up like Big Willy Shakespeare, throwing ideas into your head via your ear holes.

The truth is, sometimes you’ll feel like writing, sometimes you won’t. One day the ideas will be there, the next you’ll feel like you haven’t a creative bone in your body. At times, you’ll have all day to write, at others you’ll go a month and not put pen to paper.

If you take nothing else from reading this blog, please remember that writing is a process. It’s almost entirely nuts and bolts, with the occasional flash of inspiration that keeps you, and your readers, coming back for more.

But here’s the important bit. That inspiration comes from you. No one else.

Those occasional moments of literary, journalistic or blogging brilliance are entirely your own. So, for crying out loud, make sure that you take the credit. Enjoy them. They’re why you write. Not to satisfy your fictional muse.

You see, the muse is nothing but a writer’s luxury. It’s a non-truth. An excuse for not getting things done or for simply trying too hard. Accept that and you’ll write more frequently and with greater freedom. I promise.

* dancing with the stars if you’re from the US and barely-famous people dancing on television if you’re from anywhere else.

Are you ready to get rid of your muse?

Do you need an ethereal being nearby to help you write effectively? Can you walk away when you’re suffering from a bout of brain-block? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Welcome to Write for Your Life

So, this is it. Write for Your Life is up and running. The idea(s) for this blog has been swimming around my brainbox for weeks and months. Years, in fact. Well, one year. And a half. That’s a long time in the think machine. It’s great to finally get going. You can read more about Write for Your Life and what it’s about on the, erm, about page. Now, that’s a lot of ‘abouts’, but the main thing you need to know at this stage is this:

Most writers are plagued by unavoidable distractions, like having kids, a full-time job or even something as seemingly innocuous as a social life. It can be hard to find the time and motivation to fit it all in. But it’s possible. And Write for Your Life is here to show you how.

How’s it going to work?

There’s plenty in store as we settle into our brand new webhouse in the great big blogvillage. But please don’t get your knickers in a twist if you don’t see a new post every day. It’s not because I’m lazy, it’s because I too have other stuff to do. Like go to work. And feed the cat.

Anyway, the idea is that the information on this blog will be useful to most writers. At the very least, you’ll be able to read it and think, ‘Yep, I’ve been there,’ or, ‘Blimey, that’s a good idea, I might give it a try.’

There’s loads of information on the web for writers, so I’m not going to pretend that what you read here is the be all and end all. In fact, you’ll likely think that some of what I suggest is slightly silly. But that’s all right. It’s okay to be silly, sometimes.

Essentially, it’s a case of:  ‘This is what I learned when I did this. It worked for me. See what you think.’

What’s coming up?

Here’s a list of posts that you might see on this site in the coming weeks and months:

Subscribe

If you like the sound of all this, you might like to subscribe for free email updates. That way, you don’t have to keep coming back to see if we’ve got anything new to say. We’ll just let you know when we’re ready.

Want more information?

Visit our about page to find out more, or feel free to send an email to hello@iainbroome.com and I’ll get back to you in a jiffy. And by that, I mean quickly. Not in a bag.