Motivation for Prodding Your Muse # 7

By Amy Peters, Sterling Publishing Co. 2012
The Writer’s Devotional

“It’s so easy to fool yourself into thinking that you’re working hard. It’s so easy not to write. So you use any trick you can to make yourself know there’s work to be done. That’s why I wear a jacket and tie when I sit down to write.”

Robert Caro


THE KEY WORD HERE IS WORK. Writing is one of your jobs. You may only have fifteen or thirty minutes available for writing each day, but while you’re at your computer or your journal, writing is your work.

Make it official by getting ready for work. Take a shower, brush your teeth and hair, and get dressed. If it’s morning, get out of your pajamas. If you’ve just finished exercising, change out of your workout gear and put on other clothes. You don’t need to wear a suit. But you need to distinguish the time you’re writing from other times of the day.

While it’s true that John Cheever often wrote while wearing nothing but his underwear, he first went to his windowless office (in the basement of the apartment building in which he and his family lived) fully clothed in his business suit, disrobed, carefully hung up his suit, and went to work in his boxers. When finished, he donned his clothes and rode the elevator back to his apartment. In that way, Cheever must have felt that he “went to work.”


Contributed by Barbara Cairns (SSRA Member)

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