If Bolt’s taught me anything,
it’s that you never abandon a friend at a time of need!
Rhino the Hamster, Bolt (2008)
The muse is not a writer’s best friend. Fickle to the core, the muse comes and goes as she pleases without regard to you, your frustrations or your career.
Got a ticking deadline? Your muse will happily lounge on a sunny beach, sip a mai tai and leave you to your own pitiful devices.
Driving down the interstate with a backseat full of cranky kids? She’ll bang your door down with other-worldly inspiration.
You can’t depend on the muse. Not when you have a deadlines to meet, clients to care for and bills to pay. You have to produce with regularity and, sometimes, right on the spot.
Who do you turn to? Your unsung hero. The one who’s there for you in times of writerly need.
Meet your inner hamster.
Inside your head is a little hamster who runs in a little hamster wheel that’s hooked up to a fully customized Idea Machine. (My inner hamster is named Hortense. She likes classic movies, silver glitter and wearing a pink bow on her head.)
Picture it…your draft is rougher than tree bark, your brow is sweatin’ bullets and all your fingers can manage to tap out is “dammitdammitdammit!”
The muse may or may not be there – there’s no telling. But your inner hamster will wipe your brow and start working over that copy, massaging it into happy client-making content. With you through thick and thin, your inner hamster churns out the words while your muse is off perfecting her tan.
True, your inner hamster may not churn out as much of the inspired, glowing gems of brilliance your muse might. But that furry little trooper can plunk out precious, shiny gems when you least expect them and yet need them the most.
So take care of your inner hamster. Appreciate all that it does for you. It’s really the one who’s helping you pay the bills. (Off I go now…Hortense wants more glitter.)