Inspiration is a fickle, inconvenient bitch. It comes when you can’t use it, and is a hide-and-seek champion when you go looking for it.
It has been elusive in my life, as I’ve pursued it, to use it. to fuel my mind as I dip and dodge writer’s block. I’ve always relied on inspiration for content. Maybe it is the euphoric release when you complete something fueled purely by raw inspiration, versus forcing it through solely with motivation and/or the guilt of wasting talent. maybe it is laziness, or perhaps it’s even a willingness to embrace easier distractions. I’d hate to believe it’s the latter, but internally it strikes a chord. let’s come back to that…
There have always been two clear factors to my writing, or capacity to do so
- Inspiration – this is like that first mouthful of soft-drink on a hot, Australian summer day after spending hours out in the sun. It is the smell of freshly ground coffee, or the shiver of a cool breeze as you gaze upon the stars in the countryside. maybe even the first GTL after a long week at work. Unrefined, unaltered, unquestioned fuel, combusting efficiently without expending barely any energy.
- Motivation – the drive, the chase, or the reason. It is the hunger that pushes you to achieve a goal. It is the self-control to just sit and do, whether that be to write or otherwise.
And so, the question looms, “Why is inspiration so important?”. Does one require the other, or may they exist exclusively of the other? I suppose the answer must be yes. I may write with either just inspiration or just motivation, however, the products of each should be inexplicably different. A piece without inspiration will exist, but like without heart. It will read factually but be missing the emotional connection that the writer can tie into text and paper. A piece without motivation will exist, but may be missing coherency, simplicity, or a clearly defined point. So with this exists the duality of writing. Inspiration and motivation is my formula. If I could bottle it, I would.
I’ve spent my life chasing inspiration and struggling with motivation. Lighting a fire under inspiration is something I’ve always left up to chance, and conveniently hidden behind when I’ve lacked the self-control to remain motivated. It has been easier to succumb to easier distractions, than to try and build a fire, and patiently sit by it as the flames grow and the meat reaches well-done.
With this I pledge to myself to spend as much energy as possible to beat distractions. To overcome fear of acceptance, of failure and of judgement.
I hope this piece continues to light my fire, or perhaps is the spark to yours. That this cathartic self-dialogue serves some greater purpose, to pay it forward, as a wise man has done for me.