Thursday, February 17, 2005

Blankies and Writing...

As I write this, I've got Dr. Phil on in the background. There's a 22-year-old girl on there who still has her blankie from when she was a kid. She sleeps with it and basically can't function without it. While I won't comment on her own particular hang-ups or whatever might be going on in an adult's head who has Spongebob stickers for wall covering, I will relate it back to writing.

Many of us have our blankies in our writing. Maybe it's a pen we can't go without, a pad of paper we have had forever, a chair that has seen better days but yet we continue to curl up in it to work on that new book. When the "blankie" isn't there, the writer can't function...or can she?

A lot of people talk about writer's muses or fairies or what have you. I personally don't believe in any of that. I write when I feel awful, write when every word coming out of me is total garbage, write when I have to because there's a deadline to meet and no one else but me to meet it. There is no such luxury as waiting for my muse to come and tap me on the shoulder with a big box of awesome words.

For that same reason, I don't have a "blankie" for my writing. I've learned over the years to write anywhere, with anything from lip liner to crayon. To me, the words are there and all they need is me to put them down, whether I'm on the beach in Florida or in the passenger's seat of my car, waiting in traffic. I don't need a certain pen (though I have brands I prefer), I don't need a certain paper (any old receipt will do in a pinch) and I don't need a chair or pillow or anything to do my job.

Writing is a job, just like anything else. Albeit, it's a job I love and rush to every day, but it's still a job, in its barest form, (because I do get paid for it and my editors have expectations :-) and I try to treat it that way.

So try to leave the blankie behind...and get the work done ;-)



  1. You are SO right! I never have believed in the "Muse". In fact, why in the world would I want to give credit to some make-believe character in my head? Oh no, no, NO! Great post! ;)

  2. I agree with you one hundred percent. My characters never come barging in. I get a fiction idea and then work with it. I do do a lot of thinking about my novel away from the keyboard, but I drive my thoughts, not some muse.


Share a recipe or thought, and remember to visit to read about Shirley's latest book!