the writing life

I did mention in a previous post how I’m pretty inspired by Stephen King – well, here’s the man himself talking about his muse.

There’s a mystery about creative writing, but it’s a boring mystery unless you’re interested in this one small animal, sometimes quite vicious, that makes its home in the bushes. It’s a scruffy little thing with fleas and often smells of whatever nasty mess it’s been rolling in. It can never be more than semi-domesticated and isn’t exactly known for its loyalty. I’ll speak more of this beast — to which the Greeks gave the comically noble name musa , which means song — later, but in the meantime, believe me when I say there’s little mystery or tragic romance about the rest of it, which is why they never show the working part in movies about writers, only the drinking, carousing and heroic puking in the gutter by the dawn’s early light.

I always remember reading King many years back, describing the rush of inspiration as feeling like his muse shat on his head. I try to hold to that economy and total lack of conceit as the best form of writing, plus the fact that a little toilet humour never hurt anyone.

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