Is there such a thing as writer’s block?
“Of course there’s such a thing as writer’s block,” someone might say. “How dare you!?”
The obvious reply, one that is used by many, is do plumbers get plumber’s block? Do chefs get chef’s block? Does a football player get sport’s block?
Then, of course, the obvious retort to that reply is, “But those aren’t creative! I’m an artiest! I need the muse.”
First of all, I’ve always told people if I didn’t want to do art or be a writer, the next thing I would’ve wanted to be is a chef. I love cooking and baking. There is an absolute art to putting together the perfect dish of food. But that aside, I have to say I am highly critical and absolutely annoyed by the construct of “the muse”.
The muse is an excuse. The muse is a crutch. The muse is an invention produced by writers of old who couldn’t think of something, or thought of something and threw it away because they were looking for perfection, and instead of sharing what they wrote or even attempting to create new words, they said, “My muse isn’t speaking to me.”
Fuck the muse.
The muse isn’t paying my bills. I have a landlord rattling around in my head everyday, and his name is Mr. Imagination. Mr. Imagination says too much, overflows my brains with ideas, and sometimes wants me to write everything all at once, and spit it out like I’m vomiting.
But here’s the thing; Mr. Imagination is there. He’s always there.
There’s a urban legend about Robert E. Howard and his creation that I don’t think is true but it’s stuck with me for years. It goes something like this; Conan was real to Howard. So real that Howard wrote day and night with the ghost of Conan standing over his shoulder, his blade ready, waiting for Howard to finish his story, not letting the writer move until he was done. Or something like that.
That’s Mr. Imagination for me (quite honesty I just thought of that name and I dislike it more and more the more I write it).
There is no muse.
There are only the ideas. Imagination. The fleeting thoughts that float around me day and night, minute by minute.
Writers write. It’s as simple as that.
See you tomorrow.