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I met a pirate writer on the sea
Who seemed quite frolicsome to me.
She claimed she knew the quickest way
To keep your Muse from running away.
“How so?” I asked, quick to know.
My muse was always much on the go.
She whispered, “Tis going to sound trite—
But you have to sit and write.”
Good thing I wasn’t paying money for this advice.
I thought I should go while I could still be nice.
“Thank you,” I said, as I walked away.
I needed to find my Muse while it was still day.
A year passed, or maybe ten more.
My Muse despondent, writing a chore.
“I know I could write this if writing were fun.”
Why scribble when it’s crap that I should shun?
While in port, I passed a cheerful bookseller,
Who had books stacked from attic to cellar.
And the picture on the back to my chagrin,
Was that same pirate writer with a shit-eating grin!
She hadn’t just wrote one book I could see—
But scores upon scores while I’d been at sea.
“But how?” I whispered as I bought one about Jack.
“How does she write these without becoming a hack?”
“Perfection,” the seller said with a quite knowing smile,
“Is completely overrated and on its way out of style.
In yoga, you learn perfection is what you can do today.
So sit and write it all down what it is you have to say.”
He held up a hand before I could argue—was he mad?
Didn’t see I was writing already with everything I had?
“You can’t fix what isn’t written—though many a writer has tried.
But doing so leaves you revising the same sentence 'til you die.”
“But…” I said, and he shook his head.
“I have no interest in excuses, no matter how bad.
We’ve all the same troubles, the same number of hours.
Writing a book was in her, and in your considerable powers.
“You write it or you don’t, it’s simple to plot—
You either tinkle or get off the pot.”
He’s right, I thought, as I read the name of the pirate in skirts—
Lord almighty, I’d ignored advice from the Nora Roberts.