Friday, January 23, 2009

Guest Blog: When Are You Inspired to Write?

When Are You Inspired to Write?
By Dawn Allcot
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The surest way to kick my muse into action is to take away my opportunities to write. My daughter is asleep, but my iPod Touch has a dead battery. And I’m certain that if I boot up the laptop, she WILL wake up. So I’m in bed, jotting down blog posts on an old filing folder because I can’t even find a notebook… and my pen is about to run out of ink.

I’ve already written three full posts and every sentence I write seems to spark an idea for another article.

My only problem? It’s been so long since I’ve written anything by hand, I’m afraid my penmanship will be illegible in the morning. (If you’re reading this, obviously, I was able to decipher my own personal brand of shorthand that I’ve developed over my 20 years as a writer.)

While I decode the rest of my articles, here’s a poem I wrote a long time ago on this very topic and it was originally published in Calliope’s Notes, a literary journal:


I have a stubborn muse
She likes to write at midnight
Family gatherings, funerals
And parties find her
Penning poems
For posterity.

We sit at my desk, finger
Poised over the keyboard
And she demands coffee,
Long-distance phone calls
To long-forgotten friends.
She wants to pet the cat.

She’ll offer up feature stories
On Highway 95
No rest stop in sight.
Leaving me muttering to myself,
In hopes of remembering
A segment, one catchy line.

On deadline days
I can whip her into submission
Greedy harlot loves checks
Even more than she enjoys
Taunting me with captivating leads
In the middle of the workday.

The house is quiet,
I’ve no plans,
And she’s run off.
She finds me when dinner’s burning,
And wants to finish this chapter.
Complete masterpieces emerge at 3 AM.

But if I tear myself from
The warm blankets,
Grabbing a pen and notebook
To capture a carefully constructed,
Chronologically-sound dream
She wants to pet the cat.

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