Steve has this gem in his current post:
"I think the most important thing here is something I've always known but it can be difficult to convince yourself: Making the decision to create is what actually makes the creativity flow. It's not the external thing that many people would like to think. It comes from you and your decision."
For years I've convinced myself I can't write poetry unless the Muse hits, but then I don't generally want to try writing poetry most of the time anyway. So not a problem.
When it comes to story writing though, I realise I've been doing something similar: somehow seeing the delay-time needed to get into character as an external factor working on me rather than being a fully internal process that I can control.
Getting in to the heads of the people that you are writing ...
Craig Mazin has a great post on this You Need To Be A Little Insane, go read it!
... while I definitely didn't have this under the same Muse-only category, I know I can force myself in to it; it is just hard work and serious concentration to put myself back in the correct shoes until I've got to know the characters well enough that they start talking to me.
Plot is also a sit down and make it happen thing for me, but generally so intimately linked to character ... I find I create both as I go along, and I generally don't get the story locked down in any real way until I'm about three quarters of the way through the story outline/treatment. And I find I can't start writing "good" dialogue until the characters are talking and acting/reacting of their own free will.
I think this is part of why it takes me so long to write anything on spec.
[Does this make me a method writer, rather than just a writer? No. Wrong analogy. ... Ah ha!*]
And I know that this is where the gap lies between being a professional writer whose career and money earning come from writing, and a writer who just writes.
And that is something I've been wrestling with for years.
I want to be a professional writer. I'm going to have to refine my approach even further. *sigh* At least I've twigged this part of it consciously now. *rolls eyes* Took me long enough.
Thanks for the inspiration Steve! :)
*The Ah ha! was me realising that I need to embrace my insanity rather than shy away from it. ... Which might make me even odder than I already am. Ah f*ck it! We're all unique in our own special ways, mine just might be a bit more special. ;)