Inspiration generally gets me to the foot of the mountain. But once I’m there, inspiration often fizzles because the mountain doesn’t look like the mountain anymore. It looks like a steep hill and lots of short steps carrying a cheese-ob- sessed toddler on my back. It looks like a spreadsheet or a blank page instead of a finished book. It looks like cliché and bad transitions instead of a song.

In short, it looks like work.

That’s because it is work. And if it’s not work, I’d sincerely question if it’s art. Inspiration gets us started—but at some point, we’ve simply got to get to work.

This is an excerpt from my book Title Pending, which is available now.