Persistence Trumps Inspiration

Day 7 Wordcount: 3522 (Dark Circus, Short Story #2)

Last line written tonight: “Let go!” She screamed, kicking out with her feet.

No, short story #2 is not finished yet, but it’s getting close.

The title of this post is from one of J.A. Konrath’s quotes. I’ve heard variations of it before. The basic gist of it is: waiting for inspiration is for hobbyists. Professionals keep writing whether they are ‘inspired’ or not.

I’ve come to believe in this piece of advice. It doesn’t matter if the words are coming slowly, or each one has to be basically pried you. What matters is getting the words down consistently. At the end of the day (week, month, whatever) it can be hard to impossible to distinguish the words that came easily from those that came hard.

I no longer wait for the ‘Muse’ to tell me when to write. I’ve instead trained the Muse to start writing when I say so. The words must be written, the stories told, and a muse whining that “I don’t FEEL like it today!” isn’t a valid excuse.

The result? The words come when I sit down much more often than not.

Today was a day I had to really work for the words, despite the good wordcount shown at the top of this post. I’m exhausted. Yet, I’m closing in on the end of the story, I have a lot of great description, tension and action, and the good feeling that I accomplished a goal of having a writing marathon today.

The short story will soon be finished, and it’s all because I was able to sit down and ‘force’ the words out today.

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The challenge in question is the Forward Motion May “Story-A- Day” challenge. See my previous post about the rules. The goal is to achieve the 10 short story level.

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