Virgin Author Ch 1 Inspiration & A Fickle Muse


CHAPTER ONE:

Inspiration & a Fickle Muse

This is me writing what I'll eventually turn into a book… It lasts so long as I’m not distracted or the energy behind it doesn’t burn out. Then… THE END. That’s all I write. I probably forget all about it in a bit and move on with my life. The book and all it could have been dies with me – blown away like a dandelion wish in the summer time. And yet we still have books. New books come out like clockwork all the time. Meanwhile, my story sits in a forgotten notebook with an artsy cover dusting on the shelf until it assumes the status of decoration or fills up just a little more precious space on my computer.

Books, like babies, don’t just happen. They’re made. You need to know what you’re doing and you need to realize you can’t do it alone. It’s not enough to ‘want to write’. Hell, you were probably thinking that when you bought this book. Maybe this book, the one you’re holding right now in your hands is the key to exactly what I’m missing to finally write my own story. Maybe you just wanted to humor the author – I wouldn’t pretend to assume…

However you got here to this very sentence, congrats. Now buckle up buttercup, ‘cuz we’re gonna take you from page one to writing book two. It won’t be pretty, but you’ll like it – maybe even come back for more after we’re both good and satisfied.

INSPIRATION

You and I both know why we’re here, pumpkin. You saw me online and just had to find out more. You wandered into the wrong store and I caught your eye. You took me home. We’re alone now. Shhhh…. No one has to know you’re into writing. It can just be our little secret. When this is all over you can go back to your boring 9-5 and pretend to care about office gossip and quarterly reviews. When they say what you do on your own time is your own business has never been more true. Lucky you.

There comes a time and place in every person’s life when they need to know about the birds and the bees of writing. If you never thought of writing as sexy up until now… well… I guess you just had poor teachers. Or were sheltered. Maybe writing is forbidden fruit. Maybe your local culture just doesn’t jive with it. That’s all ok. We’re going to change that.

We all get moments when the inspiration comes on us. We get… you know… in the mood. And that’s great! The first thing is to recognize when you want some. The second thing is to do something about it. Writing has never been easier. These days, there’s always an unattended pen lying around nearby just begging to be used. Why, there’s probably at least one within five feet of you right now. There you go, now I’ve got you thinking about it. Pens aren’t for everyone, though. I’m writing on my computer. (You’ll never guess what I’m wearing, either…) Some people even like to go out and do it in public – writing, you know?

Laptops are a hell of a drug.

My point is, realize that you have writing ideas. Too many people are walking around these days thinking they have nothing to say – which is entirely preposterous, because they just said something there. In order to even get an idea you have to have some sort of imagination – and we’ll just start there. Nice and easy. Don’t worry, we’ll be gentle (for now). For some people, it’s an image in their head… for others, it’s an experience they had once when they were younger. Sometimes, writing just happens.

But here’s the problem.

Lightning strikes of inspiration are a wondrous thing, it’s true. But if you’re not ready to make them yours, that’s all they’ll ever be. Flashpoints. A glance. A pass. A might-have-been. A lingering sigh followed by a hasty retreat. And that’s not why either of us are here, my sweet. To be a writer, you must first have an idea – preferably an idea or an image that sticks with you. One you sigh about. One you dream about. Then you need to identify what it is and write that temptress down as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate. A million sneaky distractions will be lurking, waiting to swoop in and steal away your unbridled romance. Be vigilant. Writing could happen anywhere. The office. Church. Your car. A long lonely weekend (you know the one).

A Fickle Muse

After you’ve written down your idea, you’re going to meet another lover. The Muse. She’s been around for awhile and boy let me tell you, she knows what she’s doing. But the problem is, she’s fickle too. And, to top it all off, she’s exotic and foreign (Greek, I think). You’re probably going to want to do it for hours with her and your story idea. By all means, enjoy that. It’s special. But if that’s all you do, you’ve traded hours for a lifetime.

You see, the Muse is the sort of lady who likes to dominate everyone she takes a fleeting fancy to. The real trick after you’ve made your first acquaintance with her needs is to make her your bitch instead. By all means, let her ride you in the beginning, but writer be warned: come ready. Otherwise, during some dark and stormy night during your hour of need she’s going to leave you high and dry… and your writing thirst will probably die for lack of attention, asphyxiated by her distant hand.

Too often, people only call you a writer if you’re known for it. But here’s the secret truth: anyone who is actively writing is a writer. Talk is cheep. Words on the page are the money honey. Telling people you’re writing a book is just nubile flirting. Writing a book is the down and dirty. That’s where the fun is. So be creative. Use your imagination. Let yourself enjoy it. Allow yourself to try new things.

Who knows?

You might even like it.

The next chapter will teach you the tricks and tips which come from years of experience pleasing the Muse. Pay attention if you want the Muse begging for you, and not the other way around. It feels good to be on top of things.

Next Up:

Chapter Two

Writing: Training & Winning

- Training: Best Practices

Meets Blood, Sweat, & Tears

- Winning: Writing Groups & Stubborn Tenacity

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