Fake Muse

Kittens are inspiring, aren’t they? But I said ‘Muse’ not ‘Mews’…

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told I shouldn’t wait for inspiration to strike before I sit down to write. Successful writers just get on with it, regardless of how inspired they feel.

Being precious about having the right pen, desk, light, music et al is all very well, but sometimes, good ideas can be genuinely hard to come by. And that has nothing to do with the so-called ‘Writers’ Block’.

Which is why I’m often to be found in writers’ groups and workshops.

As well as knowing I’m likely to come away with a new take on some aspect of the writing process, I enjoy mixing with like-minded people to get the creative juices flowing. There’s often a valuable exchange of information and a different view of a familiar topic, too.

Sometimes I find the deadlines presented by journal and magazine submission windows, or literary competitions will help focus my writing mind, and I’ll often use the prompts for competitions as inspiration, even if I don’t end up sending in an entry.

All those books waiting to be written…

Like most people, I don’t have anyone cracking a whip to make me write, and I’ve no muse (fake or genuine) to kindle my writing fire, just a compulsive desire to keep on writing.

If you’d like some inspiration and think competition prompts might help, here’s a few links below to start you on your way.

And ‘Fake Muse’? Well,  I think I might have once harboured dreams of becoming a Sun headline writer…

  • Here’s a good one (which I’ve never entered because it takes me longer than a week to polish a poem to perfection, although I’ll often use the prompts): Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition. Every Tuesday  until  January 29th 2019, five words are posted on the competition page. Entrants have one week to compose and submit one or more poems which include all five words for that week.
  • If you’re not inspired by SOMETHING on this comprehensive list of writing opportunities by Angela Carr I would humbly suggest you ain’t doing it right (or write?)
  • Another long list of writing opportunities in the UK, Ireland and further afield here
  • Its not wasting time trawling through this site for inspiration. Its called ‘research’ and you’re sure to find something of interest:  writing.ie
  • More essential reading if you want to be a writer – Paul McVeigh‘s mix of opportunities and examples of published excellence

There are zillions more of course, but these are my top five. Good luck!