- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Commercial & Creative Writing
Listen to your Writing Muse. She is Rarely Wrong
When Did It All Begin?
I really don’t know. I can’t pinpoint a particular time when I first fell in love with writing. I don’t know the exact moment when my muse first spoke to me.
I have a recollection of high school, sophomore year, and a creative writing assignment. I don’t even remember the particular assignment but I remember the teacher’s comment on my paper. He said I had a gift for writing and he hoped I would continue. Such a simple statement of affirmation….twelve words that gave a young man the support he needed….important enough that I have remembered it for fifty years.
Fourteen years ago the muse began to speak more loudly to me. I began to write short stories. I did nothing with them, but I found myself drawn to my writing studio at odd hours of the day and night, an idea driving me forth and demanding my attention.
And then four years ago I simply said “to hell with it,” quit my day job and began the life of a full-time writer.
Today my muse speaks to me daily and I have learned to listen to her. Oh, she can be a difficult wench. It’s not all roses and chocolates with that one. She is demanding for sure. She is relentless and rarely does she leave me alone, but I love her and I know she has my best interests at heart.
People Are Always Asking Me
How do you do it? You seem to have a never-ending supply of words and time. How can you possibly write as much as you do?
When I started writing full-time I was writing seven articles per week plus taking care of customers for my freelance business. It’s true, I wrote A LOT! It was just flowing out of me, the spigot turned wide-open by my muse. She supplied ideas and I supplied the words, and if I do say so myself, I was a bit prolific. It didn’t seem like that big a deal to me. I wanted to do it, I had ideas, and I had the desire. Writing is what writers do, right? So I wrote.
And then one day my muse told me to start writing a novel. She was being particularly sweet that day, so I listened, and today I have three novels finished and another in the works.
Without really knowing it, a shift had occurred and it is continuing today.
I went from seven articles per week to five, and today I write four per week and plan on dropping that to three next week. The shift has, indeed, occurred, and you can blame it all on my muse.
It was, and is, just a natural progression. That’s all there is to it.
I don’t get as big a thrill writing articles daily as I once did. I do get one hell of a thrill out of writing novels. Something had to give.
My muse made the decision an easy one.
I was sitting at my desk a couple Mondays ago, preparing to write my articles for the week. I had ideas. I had the time. What I didn’t have was the desire. I was tired of writing “how to write” articles. I was tired of writing about urban farming. I wasn’t tired of writing; I was tired of writing about those topics. At the same time, I couldn’t shut my brain down because ideas for future novels kept flooding in. All I could think about was Eli Baker and Liz Myers. All I could think about was solving crimes and distributing retribution. All I could think about was how to structure this novel and how to extract my characters from the peril I had put them in.
I was excited and could hardly wait until the next writing session so I could create another storyline.
My muse had spoken.
And she was correct in doing so.
There’s an old saying and it goes something like this….you gotta dance with the one that brought ya.
The muse brought me to this time and place.
I have to dance with her.
So I Will Follow
Oh, I plan on continuing the Mailbag series because I get a kick out of answering the questions, and I think we all learn from picking each other’s brain. I’ll write a reflective piece each week because I really do enjoy that kind of creative, contemplative writing. The fact is I really enjoy writing on HubPages. This is where my writing family resides, so I’ll always be around as long as I’m able to write an intelligent sentence.
But other than that, my creative efforts will go into my novels, and that’s where they should be.
The point of all this is not to say goodbye because I’m not leaving. I’m simply stating that a writer must follow their muse. Writing needs to be fed by passion. If a writer doesn’t love what they are writing then what in the world is the point of writing?
When I started writing online I set a goal of one-thousand articles. It seemed rather silly at first, but I’m a goal-oriented person and that was one goal I could sink my teeth into with glee.
I’m now at 972 and counting. With the end in sight I have set a new goal: I want to have eight novels to my credit three years from now. I have three so I have five to go. I can make it. Like the little engine that could, I think I can, I think I can, I know I can.
And I know it because my muse is pointing the way to success.
2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”