The lesson smacked me three times. Once from Greg Rucka. Twice from Peter Beagle, at two different panels.
The lesson was this: You are a writer. Write. Don't wait for the muse. You write even when the muse isn't there. Even when it feels like, as Stephen King put it, you're "shoveling shit from a sitting position." You put in the time. Because a working writer makes money from the writing. And if they wait for the muse, they will starve and not be able to pay the rent and the bills.
I find it interesting that I can read the same advice in tons of books and articles and it seems to go in one ear and out the other, in a manner of speaking.
But hearing it directly from someone suddenly makes all the difference.
Thank you, Greg and Peter.