Sometimes it is a struggle to sit down and write. You do a quick look on social media for any writing groups and you will find meme after meme and reel after reel about how writers love to procrastinate and then hate themselves for it afterward. They wait for their muse to come calling, but she has other plans for the day. The lengths we’ll go to to avoid writing are amazing.

I do it all the time.

One item of writing advice I have run across from time to time regarding this is that you should write when the muse strikes. It seems like good advice on the face of it. Write when the mood strikes you, don’t force it., You’ll write better when you are in the mood and feel motivated. Solid thinking on the surface of it, but to be honest, I’m old and it feels very…Gen Z.

No, before you bombard the comments with hate for me disparaging Gen Z, let me add that I think there is a lot of awesome in Gen Z. I am raising three Gen-Z kids myself and there is so much about them and their generation that I think is awesome and I wish my generation (X) would have embraced or even thought of when I was younger. So, no hate please, you Gen Z kids are way cooler than most of us old folks give you credit for.

So why do I think waiting for your Muse sounds Gen-Z?

To be honest, it just feels like it, given stereotypes about laziness and a sense that things should come easy to them fits nicely into this mindset. Don’t do the work if it is hard and the rewards aren’t enough. I guess the high salary expectations without experience feeds the feeling. I know plenty of Gen-Z that work harder than some millennials I know. They are stereotypes and meme fodder, but their prevalence has seeped into the general zeitgeist.

The funny thing is, the Muse question is hardly a Gen-Z thing. Since art existed, artists have procrastinated and claimed their muse abandoned them. Perhaps they need a new muse.

O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.

William Shakespeare

So, what had me thinking about muses when it comes to writing?

I like to listen to YouTube while I am working or writing, and I happened upon a video by Brandon Sanderson and Tim Hickson, in which they discussed the worst writing advice they have heard. It is a really great video (embedded below) with some great advice from accomplished writers. The one thing that struck me hardest was the third piece of advice: Wait for your muse to strike.

Brandon Sanderson talks about how writers need to write rather than wait for inspiration to strike. Amazingly, if you force yourself to sit down and write you might just find that your muse will wake up and you’ll get writing done. Habits matter and lead to progress at a faster pace than if you wait until you are inspired.

This little six-minute segment kicked me right in the butt. I do not wait for inspiration to hit, but I have been all too willing not to write for a myriad of reasons that really are just excuses not to. I’m working on my fifth book and I am nearing the end, but my motivation has been in short supply, so I have stalled out on my progress, but no more.

Since watching the video, I have committed to getting 500 words a day written and I am happy to say I am three for three as of the time of writing this. Of course, building a habit takes more than three days, but I’m determined to get there and get this book done soon. I’m not sure how I will fit editing and revising into my plans, but that is a bridge I will cross when I get to it.

Do you write every day? What sort of schedule do you keep? What are your word goals? Do you think Brandon and Tim are wrong?

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