03/14/2013 07:36 am ET Updated May 14, 2013

Day 14: 31 Days of Daily Inspiration From Brilliant Women

Daily Inspiration: Day 14 of 31 Days

"I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work." -- Pearl S. Buck

I used to believe in the muse -- the fickle, capricious creative muse who would strike if and when she pleased. I believed this was the cause of writer's block, the desertion of inspiration, the termination of imagination, the ceasing of creativity. It was a slightly terrifying belief to entertain since it meant being at the mercy of this muse's whims, being in the passenger seat of life without any control of when we started or stopped.

I don't believe in the muse, or in creative moods, anymore. Of course, sometimes glorious inspiration strikes and I bask in its beauty for as long as it lasts. But it usually strikes after six hours or so of determined slog, of uninspired scribbling, plotting and pacing. And, if one was to wait for such a mood, it might very well never strike at all.

However, there is a paradox here. You can't push an idea into fruition. You can't sit and wait and stamp your feet. Believe me, I've tried; it doesn't work. But if you want to achieve any artistic endeavor, you must also be willing to work even when you're not in the mood. That way, when a flash of inspiration finally strikes, you're there to catch it.

Inspiration From Brilliant Women

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