Don’t fall for the inspiration fallacy

We have all heard about it. Something like the strike of thunder or a bird landing on your shoulders. The brain sees hidden patterns where none existed before. Words come to mind unbidden. You are seized with a violent work ethic and produce a great masterpiece in 24 hours. Some call it inspiration. Many wait for their muse to be the guide that will let them set words to paper. Let me provide some free advice: If you are still waiting for inspiration before you get started, there is a word for what you are doing. It’s called Procrastination.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

– Stephen King

If your goal is to write the next great Nigerian novel, you are not going to do that while waiting for the day your muse decides to cooperate. You have to commit to getting up every morning and writing a certain number of words (even when you feel they are absolutely terrible) and keep editing until your final draft is ready for publishing (or the eyes of a critic). It seems unglamorous but it’s how successful writers do it.

Work does not automatically become better because you are inspired. Infact, your work will get worse if you wait all the time for inspiration before you get started. While waiting for inspiration, time will pass you by, no work is getting done. You are not learning anything new and you are not growing.

An hourglass
Not gonna stop until you find it

Muses, are by definition, fickle creatures which bestow their gifts upon the lucky at unexpected times. Unfortunately, the world is not going to wait for your muse to tickle you. You have deadlines to beat. If you wish to achieve mastery, there are A-tasks you will have to complete everyday. Stop waiting, start doing.

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