February 11th 2009
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
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.
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.
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