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Wrestling the Muse

I took a writing course once. It wasn’t very expensive. It was a distance learning course, mostly conducted over the internet. One of the features of the course was periodic on-line chat sessions with the instructor. For all the course cost, the instructor had to have been dedicated to producing writers … she couldn’t have been earning much for her efforts.

During one of the chat sessions, the subject of writers block was breached.

“I keep getting writers block.” one of the students chatted, “What can I do about it.”

“When you get writers block,” the instructor advised, “sit down and start writing.”

That didn’t make a lot of sense. How can one write something when they’re writers blocked?

“Ya, but,” the student continued, “shouldn’t I go traipsing through the daisies, or something like that?”

“You can do that.” the instructor responded. “You do need to harvest experiences, relax, and find inspiration. However, when it’s time to write, put your fingers on the keyboard, and start writing.”

The young Bill Stewart was the line coach for my High School football team some 30 odd years ago. One hot, humid late August day we were out there in a pre season practice on the field along the banks of the beautiful Ohio River. We weren’t having a good practice, very apparently. At the end of the practice, Coach Stewart had the linemen form up in a school circle, and he gave us a pep talk.

“When you don’t feel like practicing,” Coach Stewart advised animatedly, “that’s when you need it most!”

If you’re going to write, you need to write, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to paint, you need to paint, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to play football, you need to play football, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to study, you need to study, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to chop wood, you need to chop wood, even if you don’t feel like it. Get in there, and do it anyhow.

Practice makes perfect, and sometimes you have to wrestle the muse. If you don’t, she might just wander off, forgetting about you and your dreams, and aspirations entirely.

Till next time, stay in there. Keep at it. Whatever it is you do, I need you doing it.

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  1. 2011/07/06 at 17:28

    Well, how “neat” to have happened onto your site. As both a writer and a “Coach Stew” fan, I really appreciate what you had to share.
    Bless you.
    S. Jones
    Moundsville, WV

    • Gerald Henthorn
      2011/07/06 at 18:28

      You’re welcome S. Jones. I’m from down there is Sistersville. I’m glad you liked my Blog, and bless you back.

      • Gerald Henthorn
        2011/07/06 at 19:24

        I almost forgot, we were calling Coach Stew ‘Coach Stew’ way back when I was in High School. However, we were all just a bunch of punk kids, and I don’t think any of us had the hutzpah to let him hear us referring to him thusly.

  2. 2011/08/01 at 07:13

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    • 2011/08/02 at 19:55

      Thanks Availhosting.com for your comments. I’m sorry I had to delete your links.

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