Quote of the day:
"INSPIRATION IS FOR AMATEURS. THE REST OF US JUST SHOW UP AND GET TO WORK." — Chuck Close
OK, my beautiful friends, let me make one thing clear right at the start: I've got nothing against inspiration! Remembering that the word itself comes from the idea of inhaling God's breath, I bow before the sacred and ancient notion of inspiration. The dream of inspiration must never be discarded. Inspiration is beautiful. Inspiration is magnificent. Inspiration is miraculous, inexplicable and divine.
Inspiration is also exceeding, desperately rare.
Do you want to hear about a piece of writing that I did once, based entirely upon inspiration? It's the final story in my collection "Pilgrims". It's called "The Finest Wife" and I dreamt the entire thing one afternoon while napping on a commuter train. It came out of nowhere. It came out of the heavens. I dreamt it, woke up, wrote it down — and that was it. It was as if I was taking dictation from the angels themselves. It was one of the most creatively sublime moments of my life. THAT is inspiration folks. And it happened for me JUST ONCE, with that short story, in 1996. It has never happened again.
Which means, if I had only ever written work that came to me when I was "inspired", my entire life's output would consist of: One short story.
It's a nice short story, to be clear, but still…not a lot of output.
So don't wait around to be inspired before you get to work, folks. You may be waiting a long time.
Instead — as I have said on this page before many times — follow your curiosity, which is a more common, modest and trustworthy impulse. What are you interested in? What makes you turn your head and say, "Huh…I want to know more about that…"? What topic or vision is fascinating enough that it could sustain your attention for the years of effort it might take to actually finish a project?
Find that thing, commit yourself to it, and then show up and get to work.
Don't wait to follow the angels. The angels will follow YOU, once they see you are serious about your labors. Get to work first, and miracles may follow. Because tiny little moments of helpful and lovely inspiration — I have found many times — may indeed come your way, but only AFTER you have already put in hundreds of hours of devotion.
Hoping this has been inspiring…
Have a fruitful day,