I thought I’d try another interactive post. (hopefully) The bulk of this post will be hammered out in the comments.
Where do you find it?
How do you know where to look?
Where do you keep it once it has come to visit?
what does it look, smell, taste, sound, feel like?
How do you encourage it to come back?
In My Experience
Deciding “I’m going to be inspired starting….now” never works. It happens when it happens. You can’t force it to show up or make it appear in certain ways. Doing so would be about as fruitful as catching smoke with a butterfly net. (Photo credit.) It is what it is and it will come and go as it pleases. Often I come up with ideas at the most inopportune times: while engaging in a conversation from which I cannot easily untangle or when I’m in a situation in which it is difficult to take a minute and write down what I’m thinking.
It sometimes takes unexpected paths. That’s ok. Detours can lead you to incredible places. Don’t worry about where you were supposed to go or where you will end up. Enjoy the journey.
Ideas travel in packs. When one shows up more often follow.
Write it down. Most importantly: be sure to jot down moments of inspiration as soon as possible. One of the most frustrating things about writing is when I forget something just before I’m able to commit at least a few words of it to paper.
What do you know of inspiration? What inspires you? How do you collect and manage new ideas?
14 Responses to Seeking Inspiration
I carry a small notebook. At first it was to collect all of my t-shirt ideas. (You know, when someone says something and I say “I’m gonna make a shirt for you that says that.”) Then it became many other snippets and bits…come to think of it, I should dig that notebook out.
A little more rarely, I’ll collect ideas as word docs on my computer. I still have a sentence that a friend posted one day as her facebook status and I thought, that’s the perfect first sentence of a book. 🙂 I’ll give her credit should that story ever get written.
Other than that? I try to place myself in situations where I”m observing rather than participating. My walks in my neighborhood do this. Oftentimes the help of a camera as well.
(This is Heather by the way, for some reason it allows me to use my yahoo profile?)
Yes, you should definitely dig that notebook out, Heather. I’d love to hear some of what is in it.
Observing is a great way to collect new ideas, btw.
I’ve got alot to say on this topic.
…however… right now, I don’t have alot of time….
Please forgive me and allow me to get back to you on this one!!
No worries! I look forward to your thoughts when you have the time.
I see inspiration nearly as being synonymous with creativity.
Many tell me I am creative. Drawing, writing, sketching, imaginative, etc. (A wild imagination is both a blessing and a curse btw).
But there is one thing that I have always understood. I cannot take complete or full credit for being creative, just as I cannot in all honestly take full credit when someone compliments something I did.
Creativity has a life of its own, free and independent from the artist; from us!
. H.W. Janson, History of Art, Fourth Edition, Revised and Expanded by Anthony F. Janson, pg. 139-140
This, I have found, is an extremely good and accurate way of expressing this fact.
On a different tangent, I see mankind’s innate ability or attribute of Imagination</i as a inseparable part of this process. And what I also find so entrancing is that fact that Imagination and Make-believe are not the same things, although closely related.
Make-believe is simply fake, fabricated. It isn’t real. While Imagination is what brings us there. It is the conduit itself. (And something that is Imaginary doesn’t have to exist, yet can be just as real as the air you are breathing). Make-believe cannot be. It is simply pretend.
All this, however, doesn’t answer your questions.
How do we find inspiration?
I should think – to answer your question bluntly – we don’t.
It finds us.
Inspiration, like Creativity, like Imagination, is not something we rule and have control over. They are independent and free entities. I don’t think the Greeks were very far off the mark when they referred to the Muse.
You cannot find inspiration, it can only find you. All you can do is be perpetually ready for that moment. A notebook, a scrap of paper, a paper napkin.
“A wild imagination is both a blessing and a curse btw”
Heh, I know exactly where you’re coming from.
It’s interesting – I’ve often privately thought of inspiration as something outside of myself. It does seem to have a life of its own. I had no idea that other people had ever thought of it that way, though.
Do you carry around something to write on all of the time? I try to always have note-taking materials with me. Too many great ideas have flitted away when I forget to write them down.
Is the rest of that book as inspiring as the bit you quoted from it?
I work in a print shop. There’s nothing but paper everywhere!!
Yes, I try to carry something close to a notepad around with me.
No. It’s (literally) a book of art. The vaste majority of it is pictures of pictures.
Try out an experiment. Suddenly say to yourself, “I’m going to be creative…. NOW!“, and see how it works out.
I will try that tomorrow and let you know how it turns out. 😀
Let me know how that works out for you! 😉
Yeah, not so well.
Btw, I finally remembered to start reading your book. I’m on chapter 1 at the moment!
Let me know – chapter by chapter if you’d like – what you think!
I will. Should I post my comments on your blog or do it through email?
I’ll email you soon, then!