Writing and the Elusive Muse

On the last page of every edition of Woman’s Day magazine is a page of inspirational quotes by any number of notable figures. In the September 1, 2009 edition, they included a quote by Pablo Picasso that got me thinking. He says, “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”

On my journey as a writer, I’ve gone through many phases, trying to figure out how I work best. One of those phases was “waiting for the muse”, and I have to admit, she never came. No visions, no dreams, no lighting bolts of inspired scenes. There was just a whole lot of waiting, a whole lot of whining that my muse had left me or that I had writer’s block, and a whole lot of blank pages.

So, reading this quote from Picasso really struck a chord with me. The only times I am truly struck with inspiration are the times when I’m working – in some capacity – on my craft. In other words, “inspiration…must find me working.”

What about you? Do you find this quote to be true for you? Or are you lucky enough to get lighting bolts of inspiration out of the blue, even if you’ve been slacking in the writing department?

Jerrica Knight-Catania is the author of A Gentleman Never Tells, available now from Second Wind Publishing!


Filed under writing

5 responses to “Writing and the Elusive Muse

  1. I find my inspiration in routine. Like you, Jerrica, I can easily talk myself out of a session, intimidated by a blank page. Therefore, I rarely end a session at the end of a scene or chapter. Stopping in the middle of an exchange of dialogue or action sequence makes me eager to start my next session. So in a sense, inspiration for my next session “finds me working.”

    Also, part of my routine is the routine of selecting a cigar, inhaling its fragrance, snipping the head and lighting it. I often refer to my cigars as my muse, and I’ve found it to be true. They so help put me in a creative frame of mind.

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

  3. christinehusom

    I find the more I get into my writing, the more I’m inspired to keep writing. The story itself becomes my muse. But, that being said, it could be the characters who are my muse(s). I want to see what they do next.

    Some writers talk about actual creatures they envision as there muses. I’ve never been visited by one myself.

    There’s a lot of truth in Picasso’s quote.

  4. Sometimes it feels more like inspiration’s waiting for me to take time to write it down.

  5. amydetrempe

    I would love a lightening bolt, but gave up. I have found that the more time I have to take away from writing the harder it is to get back into it. On the otherhand, the more I am working on a story, the easier it becomes, as if my muse is sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear what to type. It is almost as if that if I take more than a day or two off writing, the muse heads for the beach and just waits to hear my fingers clicking on the keyboard again before returning to me.

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