In her essay “Furor Scribendi” Octavia Butler wrote: “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
This is the truth of writing, the unglamorous, dull truth.
When I got out of bed to write at 5AM this morning it was not inspiration that lifted me from my slumber. It was brute force, the decision again today to push myself down the path of habit. It is in this – taking action, establishing routine – that we get work done. I don’t believe in The Muse. Work is not mysterious. It is cause and effect. Here we have the craft of writing, not the art. Oh, and one more thing. Inspiration comes during perspiration. Inspiration is not the fuel that starts the effort, it is a residue that comes, sometimes, in a flash of delight. It is a gift.
Now, get to work.