Yeah, I've heard of this "Muse". I've heard that she comes along like the sandman or the blue fairy and brings something with her that makes writing happen.
So I'm returning my writer's pack to the manufacturer because I've checked everywhere, turned it upside down and shaken it hard. No Muse.
What I've got is a bum to put in the chair and ten fingers to put on the keyboard. Okay, eight fingers - who types on a QWERTY keyboard with their thumbs? Actually, now I'm watching myself type - it's four.
Put it another way: The Muse strikes me in my office at 9am Monday to Friday for ten weeks until the first draft is done. Or if she doesn't - if houseguests or holidays turn up in her place, or some crummy bit of life gets badly in the way - then she strikes me seven days a week, morning, noon and night, in my office, kitchen, sitting up in bed, in coffeeshops, on planes, in convention hotels while my friends are down in the bar laughing and enjoying life . . . you get the picture.
Sometimes, though, just sometimes, I know what people are talking about. Sometimes, bum in chair and four fingers flying, I can feel the story unfurling in front of me like a bolt of silk. I see all the connections, all the strands to be woven together, all the little hooks and twists to be caught on. Characters tell me their secrets, settings reveal all their hidden corners and writing is a joy.
When that happens I write my guts out, making the most of it, and walk away - crawl away more like - thinking that I've cracked this book lark at last. The next day, I bounce back to my desk and . . . it's a day like today was. Who are these people? What's happening? Why are they in a florist's shop? How can this be my life?
So I wrote my 2000 words and it'll be better tomorrow. Because, even if it's like shovelling concrete while it sets, I'm nearer the end. Museless as ever.