Waiting for Inspiration: A Writer’s Morality Play

Waiting for Inspiration: A Writer’s Morality Play In Half An Act

The players, Three Fairies:

Inspiration-a classical sparkly-winged tinker-bell type

Motivation–a rather weasely looking fellow in the mode of a low rent Puck

Discipline–a 500 pound gorilla in a tutu and obviously taped-on wings

The scene:

A gray stage, empty save for a gray desk with a laptop and two chairs.

Discipline: It’s nine, let’s get to work on this manuscript.

Motivation: (Nervously) Don’t you think we should wait for Inspiration? She was here at the beginning.

Discipline: Yeah, and she’ll be back at the end to take all the credit, just like always. Between now and then we won’t see hide nor hair of her.

Inspiration: (In the wings) Just to show him, I’m not going to come help with their stinky old manusc—Oooh, shiny. (Turns away, the sounds of bells and sprinkled fairy dust fade into the distance)

Discipline: Are you going to help me with this, or not?

Motivation: I don’t know. I really like Inspiration. She’s almost as good as deadlines for getting me moving.

Discipline: Speaking of dead lines, if you don’t get your ass in that chair and write some good lines, dead is exactly what you’ll be. (Cracks enormous knuckles and glares at Motivation menacingly)

Motivation: Let me see about that next scene opening….

Discipline: There we go.

The moral: Motivation rocks when it’s there for you, but Discipline is what makes deadlines. Forget Inspiration.

Filed under For Novelists, learning to write, writing humor. You can also use to trackback.

There are 10 comments. Get the RSS feed for comments on this entry.

  1. 1. Liane Merciel

    Well done, sir, well done.

  2. 2. Megs

    Too funny! and too true!

  3. 3. Mary Lewys

    The imagery is perfect and the morale is too true!

  4. 4. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    You rawk!

  5. 5. Kelly McCullough

    Liane Merciel, Megs, Mary Lewys, Diana Pharaoh Francis, thank you all.

    This production is brought to you by the current WIP which is fighting tooth and nail not to be written. The gorilla is winning, but it’s doing it with very little support from its fellow faeries.

  6. 6. Lisa Mantchev

    This. Was. FABULOUS.

  7. 7. Kelly McCullough

    Thanks, Lisa.


  1. Rabia Gale » Blog Archive » linkatopia
  2. Waiting for inspiration » Sushi Writes About Things
  3. Norwescon | Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Author Information

Kelly McCullough

Kelly McCullough is a fantasy and science fiction author. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series—Penguin/ACE. His short fiction has appeared in numerous venues including Writers of the Future and Weird Tales. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star—part of an NSF-funded science curriculum—and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited—funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Visit site.



Browse our archives: