Inspiration Comes In Many Forms by Mary Caelsto, The Muse Charmer

Authors run on inspiration, so much so that I’ve named it one of the nine superpowers of the muse, which I teach through my classes and workshops. From the spark of a story idea that gets it written, to the initiative to go back and revise a book, sometimes many years after it’s been written, inspiration works in a writer’s life. Writers need inspiration at the start of their career; often that’s what keeps them going, the rush of a story and the dream of being a writer. In the mid-point or later stages of their careers, writers use inspiration to keep going, to not find an easier job. And, of course, there’s always the sheer pleasure of starting a new story and knowing that it’s going to be good.

A common misconception is that inspiration is like fairy dust. It sprinkles authors and they come up with story ideas. Except, that’s not how it happens. One of my best selling stories came from reading a nonfiction book about pollution in the Arctic. That doesn’t sound like a sexy subject, and it isn’t. But it’s one that needs visibility, and I was so moved by the story that I wanted to bring the truth of it to a wider audience. So, what’s a romance writer to do but create shape shifting polar bears, throw in some mythology, a European Union special forces unit, and write a series? That’s what I did.

It’s this wide-ranging view of inspiration which is the reason behind this edition of Muse Camp. Starting September 16, I will chat with authors about their path to publishing. Yes, in some ways it’s meant to inspire authors who haven’t submitted to a publisher to do so. In other ways, I talk with these authors about why they write their stories, how they keep writing, and the unique ways in which they get their books in front of readers. Inspiration for the published author, because they’re worried about more than just story ideas. They need marketing and promoting inspiration, too.

I find what inspires me varies from day to day. Sometimes it is beautiful scenery; othertimes it’s a story that I wrote a few years ago that’s now screaming at me to be revised. And it will be, I promise. I think about inspiration a lot. What stories do I want to write? Why? When should I write them? I have lists of stories that are begging to be written, series that are plotted and ready for the time to flesh them out into books. So what inspires me to pick one story instead of another?

You know, it could be fairy dust. It probably isn’t, partially because I have allergies and dust makes me sneeze. Then again, this year’s allergy season has been particularly bad, so I really can’t say. I tend to choose stories that speak to me, whether in genre or characters who appear and simply won’t leave me alone until their stories are written. It’s the love of writing, the drive to create stories that entertain readers that keep me writing. And a love of the genre, of knowing that at least with the stories in my head there will always be a happily ever after, that keeps me producing romance novels.

If you’d like to hear what inspires other authors, I encourage you to sign up for Muse Camp. It’s free. You can learn more at And maybe, what inspires them will inspire you too.

Bio:  With over a decade in publishing as an author (over 50 books/novellas published under a couple of different pen names) as well as approaching five years as a publisher, Mary Caelsto helps authors create careers as inspired as the stories they write. With her work as The Muse Charmer, she helps authors discover their inner muse-powered super hero to create careers and lives as inspired as the books they write. Visit her website at to learn more about Mary and her work.

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