Waiting for Inspiration: A Writer’s Morality Play

Waiting for Inspiration: A Writer’s Morality Play In Half An Act

The players, Three Fairies:

Inspiration-a classical sparkly-winged tinker-bell type

Motivation–a rather weasely looking fellow in the mode of a low rent Puck

Discipline–a 500 pound gorilla in a tutu and obviously taped-on wings

The scene:

A gray stage, empty save for a gray desk with a laptop and two chairs.

Discipline: It’s nine, let’s get to work on this manuscript.

Motivation: (Nervously) Don’t you think we should wait for Inspiration? She was here at the beginning.

Discipline: Yeah, and she’ll be back at the end to take all the credit, just like always. Between now and then we won’t see hide nor hair of her.

Inspiration: (In the wings) Just to show him, I’m not going to come help with their stinky old manusc—Oooh, shiny. (Turns away, the sounds of bells and sprinkled fairy dust fade into the distance)

Discipline: Are you going to help me with this, or not?

Motivation: I don’t know. I really like Inspiration. She’s almost as good as deadlines for getting me moving.

Discipline: Speaking of dead lines, if you don’t get your ass in that chair and write some good lines, dead is exactly what you’ll be. (Cracks enormous knuckles and glares at Motivation menacingly)

Motivation: Let me see about that next scene opening….

Discipline: There we go.

The moral: Motivation rocks when it’s there for you, but Discipline is what makes deadlines. Forget Inspiration.

(Originally published on the SFNovelists blog February 11 2009, and original comments may be found there. Reposted and reedited as part of the reblogging project)