Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Amusing Musings of a Wayward Muse.

The interesting thing about taking on a blog is that I feel a responsibility to write one fairly consistently, perhaps 4-6 a week; I used to write for a lot of music magazines and deadlines were a part of the deal, which I don’t mind, so imposing personal deadlines with this and some stories, setting goals: all good by me. One of the other deals with the blog is to find something amusing to write about. But what of those days when nothing’s coming to the noggin?

Just like writing fiction, one must find consistency. Or steal a great quote about consistency, habit. This one by Octavia Butler is from her essay, “Furor Scribendi,” and sums it up quite nicely; a friend pointed this one out to me after my post about perseverance, and I like it.

"First, forget inspiration," she writes. "Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not ... Forget talent. If you have it, fine. Use it. If you don't have it, it doesn't matter. As habit is more dependable than inspiration, continued learning is more dependable than talent ... Finally, don't worry about imagination. You have all the imagination you need ... Persist."

Or you could always take Joe Lansdale’s advice, which is equally as, um, wise (and paraphrased, jogging my memory): “Sit ass in chair and write.” No ifs, ands, or buts…just your butt in the chair and get to it!

Of course, inspiration is usually not an issue, the world is a wicked playground. (That and there’s often a story or five in progress at all times.) I’m only too happy to frolic with madness, mishear things (that’s one of Harlan Ellison’s story triggers), and, in general, live with my eyes and mind wide open. But consistency helps improve the process, gets the brain primed and ready without delay--some days we simply have to prod the Muse and hope She jumps in when She's ready--and opens doors to even more than I might have imagined when starting a story.

BTW, “Furor Scribendi” is Latin for “rage for writing,” a wonderful phrase (another door opening? Yes!) which inspires me to get back to the words at hand because, as I like to say: Words Matter!

Abigail Larson--Random Inspiration