One of our readers recently sent us an e-mail with some subject ideas for future posts. At the end, with understanding and modesty, they also wrote ‘Of course I know that writing is an issue of inspiration.’ Apart from their great suggestions, this idea of ‘inspiration,’ inspired me to write this post.
The most cliché and romantic descriptions of inspiration include the solitary figure, as well as the blank page, musical instrument, canvas, marble, or bronze block, that are all just waiting to be visited by a muse. And when the muse does finally arrive, the artist is depicted at once burdened with inspiration like a fatal disease that leaves him in pain, confusion, and cut off from the world.
If you ask me, the only painful thing in this description is the attempt to convince us, more than the artist, of this understanding of creativity. We have two options: We can find creativity entirely impossible due to this belief in waiting for inspiration, or we can be creative today, now.
You might have seen Sir Ken Robinson’s amazing talk about the uniformity of the school system in a world where we can never quite predict the future. But more than that, there were probably teachers who said you weren’t good enough in a certain field, and adults who accused you of not thinking creatively enough. In order to stop seeing creativity as a rare gift that has only been granted upon certain people, we need to first succeed in telling those teacher(s) and adults to shut up. Whenever we doubt our creativity, instead of clipping our own wings by agreeing with the voices of teachers and adults in our heads, we can take on the responsibility of being an adult, setting our minds free to fly in any direction, fully aware of the price of failure.
Stop waiting for inspiration to arrive. We’re all creative from birth and our lives are our artistic masterwork. Your art form could be adding a small distinguishing detail to your daily outfits, making the other person happy even through the smallest interaction, brewing excellent tea, writing perfect reports, steering a sailboat, or getting along with kids. Why should creativity only be valid in certain areas and forms?
We don’t need a visit from inspiration to be more creative versions of ourselves. It’s enough to believe that we’re creative. Today. Now!