With humble apologies to William Shakespeare, I'm afraid I don't believe in divine inspiration when it comes to writing. If you're someone who firmly believes that you must wait for an ever-fickle muse to visit before you're able to write anything worthwhile, then you may want to stop reading this.
Look, I'm not trying to offend anyone; I'm only speaking for myself here. External inspiration can come from many sources, but true inspiration—the kind writers are really talking about when they mention a muse—comes from within. There's no fairy godmother or magic wand that will produce the kind of results we all want as writers—to be paid to publish our books.
I don't believe in a muse in the same way I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy or writer's block. Heresy, you say! How many of you believe that writer's block is real? Come on, raise your hands. Don't be shy. Okay, you can all put your hands down.
How can I say I don't believe in writer's block? Does that mean that writing always comes easy for me and that I've never struggled to. Get. Each. Word. Out? Oh, pshaw! Of course I've struggled and will continue to struggle. I just don't believe in attributing my struggles to something I can't control.
What do I believe in, then, if I don't believe in muses or in writer's block? Well, I believe in hard work; in writing as often as possible. I believe in fear and doubt—emotions I can recognize and do something about—and in powering on through when I feel them, writing whatever comes to mind just so I'm writing something.
The other thing I believe is that we make our own luck. Just consider the terrific things that have been happening recently for my fellow writers of this blog and in our RWA chapter—all of it the product of their own hard work and determination. Now that's something I can really believe in.