You Heard It From Nora... There Ain't No Muse

I absolutely love these first lines from novelist Nora Roberts' interview with Clarissa Sansone over at

Well, first: There ain't no muse. If you sit around and wait to channel the muse, you can sit around and wait a long time. It's not effortless.

Since Nora's a bigtime inspiration (and a darned good and incredibly prolific author) I've checked out a number of her interviews, and I love her no-mumbo jumbo, elbow-grease-and-a-strong-work-ethic philosophy about writing. She talks tough on whiners and their endless litany of excuses, as refreshing as Harlan Ellison's sometimes profane but always entertaining take on the writing process.

I do think there's no one-size-fits-all reality, however. There are sublime, if unreliable, moments of inspiration. Writer's block is real and absolutely devastating to those who are afflicted. And every author has his/her own natural pace, which can be enhanced somewhat but never completely overcome. As Joni is so fond of saying, we are orchards and not factories.

But it's nice to be reminded of the sheer grit, determination, and butt-in-chair approach we all need to get us through those less-inspired days. It's old-fashioned self-discipline, folks, which is far less fun than sneaking off to shop, lunch with a friend, or go see Star Trek (though I'm not against any of those once the day's work's been accomplished.)

Follow the link above to read the rest of Nora Roberts' interview, or stop by her website to learn more about one amazing author (or two, if you count her J.D. Robb persona!)


Joni Rodgers said…
I love the clear and simple craft advice in that interview. "Vomit out" the first draft. Yes. And "if you don't read, you'd never have the chops to write." Amen, sister!
jennymilch said…
I think my comment may have was something about being incredibly impressed that you'd try your hand at this, Stephen King's novellas have always wowed me. And that I refresh myself after my first draft fiction hiatus by gulping down a novel--but next time maybe I'll try Colleen's novella!
Thanks for the comment, Jenny, and the vote of confidence. It's much appreciated!

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