“A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right.”
John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961
"Dig until you hit rock. Then take out that jackhammer and go a little deeper."
My Muse has been a little quiet lately. She might even be mad at me because I haven’t been giving her as much attention as we’d both like. It’s true that I have made other choices, but it’s not because I don’t love her or want to spend time with her. What I’ve been doing, (besides dealing with all my busyness) is trying to figure out how to integrate my goal, a house on the beach by September of this year, with my activities. The point of getting this house is so that I can spend a lot more time with her.
This means being focused on sub-goals in order to reach my larger goal. There are a lot of things I need to do in the next seven and a half months. Fortunately, I did one of them today. Every day if I do at least one thing, if I save just a little money, if I read just a little, then it will all add up to large results. This will encourage me to do more.
Right now I honestly don’t feel like writing. I feel like I have nothing to say. I’m just doing this for the self-discipline at this point. What I’d really like to do is make a big bowl of popcorn and read some comic books. This is the perfect example of Isaac Newton’s principle of the law of physics, that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion and bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. I haven’t given enough motion to my writing, so now it’s harder.
In other words, my Muse is keeping a little bit of distance. I’ve hurt her feelings by not being here as much and now she wants to see how serious I am. She wants to see if I’ll fight for her. It seems a little complicated. How can I reach other goals and still write? It’s not complicated; it depends how I choose to use my time.
If I can sit here and write and not let anything interrupt me, I can easily do this in 30 minutes or fewer. The trick is to not allow distractions. I’ve already allowed a few tonight. But when I just sit and write, without stopping, I can get a lot done and I can get it done quickly. That’s all it takes, just some focus. For me, focus is a big thing, but it’s also a decision. It’s a difficult decision, but a decision, nonetheless. I just go, one step at a time. Just one more sentence. Then another. Soon I’ll have a paragraph. That’s it. That’s how Purpose works…one step at a time. Eventually my Muse will see that I’m serious about this and give me something to say. Until then I just have to sit here.
It’s no fun having someone you love being mad at you. My Muse doesn’t yell. She just gets quiet. She says as little as possible though she insists she’s not angry or hurt. She says she understands. But she doesn’t. Neither do I. What can be more important than spending time with her? What could be more important than writing? Very little. Interestingly, I was hungry just a few minutes ago. I still am, but I can eat later. Right now I just want to show my Muse that I’m serious about writing and I’m serious about my goals. Now I just need to find the balance.
Eventually my Muse will see that my love is true and she will speak to me again. She will know that I’m not perfect, but that I’m serious about my commitment to her. She will remember all the hours I’ve already put into this. She will see the sacrifices I’ve made. She will see that my goals revolve around her. Then she will smile and tell me what to say.
Until then I keep writing. Lack of inspiration is not an excuse for a lack of effort. The inspiration comes when the Muse deems that I’ve put in a sufficient amount of time. The trouble is that she won’t tell me how much time that is. So I have to keep writing until she’s ready. That’s how it goes every time I write. She waits to see how serious I am. I have to prove myself every time.
The good news is that I don’t mind. If I haven’t told her how much I love her, then I’m telling her now. And I’ll tell her again tomorrow morning. And tomorrow night. And the next day and the next and the next…. I will Get Started and Keep Going…even if my Muse is mad at me. Truthfully, I don’t think she’s mad at all. She’s just waiting to so how I’ll use my time.