Lose the Muse...
Of all the ways writers find to waste time, waiting for the muse to show up has to be the most common, and fruitless of them all.
So if you're waiting for her, too, stop it right now.
The muse--the embodiment of inspiration, usually portrayed as a comedy woman loosely draped in a diaphanous gown--is what every writer longs for. Once she appears, you're supposed to able to write effortlessly, at the height of your powers, with an unequaled command and energy and zest.
Must be nice.
As anyone who actually writes on a regular basis can attest, the muse is a very unreliable creature. Sometimes she shows up at noon, raring to go; sometimes she shows up at midnight, just when you're ready to call it a day. And sometimes, no matter how many times you put out an SOS, she doesn't appear at all. She doesn't return your calls, she doesn't come to your door (that you've left conveniently unlocked); she's simply missing in action.
Gone without a trace.
No forwarding address.
Which is why you cannot build your writing life around her.
Sometimes you'll feel inspired when you sit down to write--and sometimes you won't. That's just the way it is. But sit down you must, and write you will, and if there's one thing every writer learns over time, it's this: The muse is most effectively summoned by the clicking of your keyboard or the scratching of your pen.
Once you stop worrying about where she is, and focus instead of doing the work at hand, she is most likely to put in a surprise appearance. Most of the time, you'll be so absorbed in your work that you won't even notice when she's slipped into the room.
You'll just keep on writing, your head down, you fingers flying, and only when you finish and sit back with satisfaction to read over what you've done, will it dawn on you that she was there after all. The evidence is right there, on the pages in front of you.
The muse may come and go at will, silent and unseen, a woman of unpredictable habits and mysterious ways. But there is one thing every writer does get to know about her over time: She is irresistible drawn to the aroma of hard work.
Excerpt from: Robert's Rules of Writing
By: Robert Masello
Writer's Digest Books Copyright 2005