It is said to haunt the dark
recesses of our reality, flitting in and out just beyond our periphery.
Silent as a shadow, ready to strike full-blown, with little or no
warning. Some people wait their whole lives and claim never to have
seen it. Others tell remarkable stories about their brushes with the
creature, their lives never to be the same after the stirring
Still others say it’s a load of
cow cookies and you should be careful where you step.
Are they talking about Bigfoot?
Not hardly. I’ve seen actual
pictures of the legendary Sasquatch right on the cover of The National
Enquirer. (And no, Mr. and Ms. Smarty Pants, it wasn’t the same issue
with the alien woman saying she was having Elvis’ baby. You don’t run
two breaking stories in the same issue).
Could it be the Tooth Fairy?
Not likely. Somebody has to
deliver the dimes for those missing molars and bygone bicuspids. And
just like Britney Spears’ underwear, just because you’ve never seen it,
doesn’t mean it’s not real.
No friends, the fictional
creature most likely cooked up when some literary type’s grant money
ran out is none other than the illusive Inspiration Fairy.
Many a fledgling writer has sat staring at a blank computer screen or a
blank sheet of typing paper (showing my age here…) waiting for
something to happen. Waiting for their muse to send smoke signals above
the tree line so that tutu clad bringer of words could swoop down and
brain said writer with the Strunk & White Genuine
Official Magic Word Wand (patent pending). Then the words
will begin to flow like a NASCAR fan’s kidneys on lap one fifty-seven.
People who wait for this noggin
thumpin’ poor second cousin of the
Tinkerbell clan are doomed to live a life of unfulfilled dreams and
more than a few excuses as to why they don’t write any more than they
do. Either that, or they are poets, and who needs another round of
My soul cries out like a guppy in
Fire and ice eddy and swirl in a hoedown of passion, all star shine and
The earth sighs; the heavens tremble, and the Cubs take the pennant yet
e-i-e-i-o, hey nonnie nonnie-o, l-s-m-f-t
Thomas F. Monteleone said it
best: “Writing Equals Butt In Chair. The corollary
to that singular truth is: Writing is mostly luck: The harder
you work, the luckier you get.”
Which brings me back to the
point. To be a professional writer takes putting hundreds of thousands
of words on the page. Writing on a regular basis. Writing when you feel
like it, and when you don’t. It takes relying on the sum total of your
knowledge, your experience, your passions, your boredom, your triumphs,
your tragedies, good meals, bad meals, good friends, bad influences,
lazy summer days and frigid winter nights. Faithful dogs, crisp autumn
afternoons, and ruby red candy apples at the fair.
In short, writing takes
sitting down and plunging in. Not waiting for inspiration. The truth
is, the need to write is inspiration enough. The wealth of living,
loving, and life itself stored inside you is more than enough fodder
for more stories, articles, plays, greeting cards, cereal boxes, books
and songs than you can possibly write in your lifetime.
You don’t need to wait for the
Inspiration Fairy to sprinkle inspiration dust on your fingers.
You need to write.
And write some more.
A writer writes.
It’s what we do. We write when we feel like it, and when we don’t. We
write in a white-hot torrent of words that seem to come from nowhere
and everywhere, and we write when every word feels like you’re giving
birth to a Pterodactyl.
People who wait for the
Inspiration Fairy tend to publish very little.
But they have some great
stories … about waiting for the Inspiration Fairy.