Does inspiration come from within or from without?

There have been many takes on this argument over the years. My favourite is Terry Pratchett’s view that inspiration is a subatomic particle like the neutrino. It zaps through the universe like a star-seed until it collides with the fertile ground of a mind and germinates its payload. A tiny particle hitting a tiny object in a vast and infinite universe. And some people are more prone to inspiration impact through having a mind that exerts an attraction field upon incoming inspiration particles. Of course, sometime the inspiration particle will miss an ideal target and a nearby tortoise will suddenly know how to play the flute.

In The Library of the Unwritten, A.J. Hackwith’s expresses a unique take on this eternal conundrum of the source of inspiration.

All books yet to be written are kept in a library in Hell. These books press upon their author’s minds until piece by piece they earn their birth. But sometimes they get impatient and go looking for their authors.

Add a sassy librarian with a sack of secrets, a neurotic muse assistant librarian, a recent demon confused about his damnation status, an old school angel uncertain which side he’s on and a trip to Valhalla into the mix and you’ll see why this book is so much fun.

It is also a brilliant kick in the pants to a procrastinating author.

Write your stories before they come looking for you.

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