Home » Writing Advice » Inspiration vs. Perspiration

Inspiration vs. Perspiration


“You can’t wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.”  Jack London

The best gift you can give anyone who says they want to write is to glue the seat of their pants to a chair.

Ha Ha Ha.

I’m not kidding.

Inspiration is great when it comes, but writing is more like brick-laying.  You must lay down one word after another, one sentence after another, one paragraph after another if you want to get anywhere.  Writers write.  Wannabes plan to write.

No, I’m not in a bad mood.  I’m just trying to make a point (to myself as much as anyone else).  You need to practice the craft of writing and let the art of writing show up as it will.

Think of it this way.  If you desire, say, to play the piano, you need to learn and practice the basics and then different pieces of music.  If you want to be a concert pianist, you practice every day for hours at a time.  A skilled piano player is more likely to achieve virtuoso status than a merely inspired pianist.

Athletes train.  Musicians practice.  Writers write to build skill, stamina, language, and story.

I’m not saying you need to write four hours a day.  Just make sure you write each day.  Set some goals and work on your discipline.  Don’t wait for the muse.  She prefers to find you already at work.

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