Monday, February 23, 2015

Waiting for Inspiration

We have incredibly powerful imaginations. This lets us play. When we let go and dive into that wonderful place between reality and our dreams, we empower ourselves to release some false realities. We empower ourselves to push beyond what we know. Because there is more.

Children know this. They have not yet defined themselves and so filtered out any potential source of joy. Today they may be a fireman. Tomorrow a princess. As we get a little more serious and a little bit more sure of our reality, our confidence grows that we 'understand the way the world works' in our own little niche. We stop playing. We look for facts.

Creativity requires a little play. By definition you can't be doing something new if you have done it before. We need to look to our imaginations. There is a temptation to wait for inspiration to strike. The mood to set in. The epiphany to burst light and energy into your thoughts. Waiting   can      lead    to         more              and                        more                                    w a  i   t    i    n      g.

Professional writers can't afford to believe in writer's block. They sit down and are often on deadline - so they write. Sometimes what they write is incredible. Sometimes it isn't. The first draft may be awful and then get honed. 'How Proust can change your life' tells of the number of edits Proust used to go through until his finely honed texts were finished. The Epiphany becomes hard to identify. The hard work less so. 

Picasso's story is rather inspirational. He was prolific. Besides always trying new things, his trick seemed to be that he was always trying. He didn't do a lot of waiting. Creativity becomes a habit. I have tried to follow that approach with this blog as I attempt to improve my writing. The best way to become a writer is to write. Unfortunately that means you get subjected to my first draft posts. It is a blog after all so I am not going to apologise too profusely. The discipline of writing a post every day means I am always thinking of ideas. I am listening more. I am watching more. Then I sit down and write. Typically it will take me anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes. Then I publish. That act of pressing the publish button normally is sufficient to bump the calluses off my eyes and catch a couple of typos. Which I can then correct (possibly after a friendly message from you). I don't believe little mistakes should stop you trying to develop a creative habit.

First drafts aren't great. But the idea that you can wait for a fully formed idea to smack you in the face with its neatly tied little pink bow is just plain silly. Play. If you are too serious to play, you are being silly, and as a very very serious person - silliness should not be tolerated.

My very very serious person face

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