December 16, 2016 @ 12:42 AM

Never mind the Muse … Writing tips 7 from a professional author.

Every writer and would-be writer lives in hope that at least one of the nine Muses of Literature, Science and the Arts will suddenly appear and touch our words with the golden staff of eternal truth and instant commercial success.

With some eighteen books published over the past thirty years, I can tell you with some confidence that she’s definitely there, hovering somewhere in the shadows behind the shoulder as you sit at the desk. Twice in my career she’s delivered a book – already seeming fully formed – into my mind, and all I had to do was write it out, like taking dictation.

But I’m also able to say that the Muses are fickle creatures (as Machiavelli also described the goddess Fortune). They appear in the imagination at the most unexpected times. Yet just when you think you really need one, she vanishes – leaving you seemingly bereft of ideas and the words with which to express them.

You’re not, of course. Ideas are everywhere, as I said in the last post, and words can be learned. Certainly, the goddess is not someone for a professional author to rely upon – comforting though her immanence may be.

Never mind the Muse, I say. So what, then, should a writer do to maintain the work flow? My response in coming posts of this series…