Writing: Work or Inspiration?

Am I a real writer?



According to Steven Pressfield:

“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.”

“Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead we say, “I’m going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.”

Here’s a totally different point of view from Charles Bukowski:

““if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it.”

“unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it.”

So who’s right? Do I have to pick one?

Actually, I’ve been in both places. Sometimes I have to force myself to sit down at my computer and write. Other times, the story is fighting to get out.


It reminds me of cleaning house. Most of the time, I have to make myself do it, but if I know company is coming, it’s an act of desperation. I’m the Tasmanian devil, whirling through my house, cleaning everything in my path.

Right now, writing is work. However, when I work at writing, the inspiration comes.


3 thoughts on “Writing: Work or Inspiration?

  1. Laura Hile

    I need to listen to the things I tell my writing students.

    Such as: “80% of your ideas come as you are writing,

    There would be no Darcy By Any Other Name if i’d waited for inspiration! The posting deadline loomed large, and I had to write myself out of whatever corner I’d put Darcy in. On the other hand, it takes time to come up with so many plot twists. As you’ve observed, it’s a little of both. We work in order to feel inspired. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Kaye

    Pressfield has a new book. Google “Pressfield’s latest book.” The title is not family friendly but the message is spot on, particularly to those who disdain the idea of writing to the market.

    Great reminder, Robin.

    Liked by 1 person


Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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