Monday, May 7, 2012

BMM: Inspiration is for Amateurs



May I share something about writing?

Not going to lie. There are days I have to force myself to write. Yeah, I know. I should be inspired all the time to do the thing I love to do. I used to think there was something wrong with me. Then I heard this

The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work.
(Chuck Close - American artist)

This quote made me realize that writing, art, anything really requires maybe 10 percent inspiration and another hundred and ten percent perspiration. To me, writing is how I am about exercise. Some days I’m on fire and want to zoom outside for a walk. Other days, I have to really talk myself into physical activity. But most days, I do it anyway. And when I’m done, I feel so, so GOOD.

How about YOU? What are YOUR thoughts on inspiration? Have any rough days? What do you do to get through it?

12 comments:

  1. I so agree with you. I'm glad I'm not alone in not always being inspired to write or walk. But I find once I start the writing those days that I do get into it. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I've found that if I back off a little and stop trying to force the inspiration, it comes to me way easier. I also mull things over for awhile in my head, visualizing the way I might want things to look (I'm a crafter, not a writer). Sometimes inspiration just hits me, like when I saw some pics of a friend's trip to the Caribbean and I made a necklace w/ those beautiful hues of aqua and green.

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  3. I totally agree with you. Inspiration, sminspiration :-P

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  4. This is so true! I can't even tell you how much time I've wasted in my life waiting for writing inspiration to strike. I'm just starting to realize the importance of "butt in chair." It's funny to say, but it's true: If I'm going to write, I need to sit down and do it, not wait for the perfect time or the perfect inspiration. Good post!

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  5. Oh, I wish I could buy my writing inspiration with my morning latte...
    So many minutes, hours, days, spent staring at my computer screen, knowing my mouse is going to get more action than my keyboard! And I completely agree, it's almost exactly like exercising - but you're so right, once I'm actually doing it, I love it!
    I definitely feel like music is a great inspiration to get moving on my writing - turn on the tunes, sit down, and hang on.
    Great post, Alison!

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  6. I'm with you on this one! I've had to start forcing myself to sit down and write for at least 30 min every night, even when I don't want to. Amazingly enough, most of the time, I end up writing stuff I can actually use, even when I wasn't feeling "inspired." Great post!

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  7. Some days I have to force myself to write and lately I've been forcing myself to exercise. But the exercise makes the writing much more enjoyable.

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  8. i am sure you are right about all of this, especially for those writers who want to be published or make a living doing what they love---i on the other hand tend to do my probably best and only stuff worth reading when i am inspired---and maybe though i am lazy, someone will find my stuff when i am dead----;)

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  9. So, so true! I find that the more I write, the more inspired I feel. When I slack or get too busy with "real" life to write, then I get into a slump that's hard to climb out of. Thanks for sharing, Alison... Now I'm off to write!

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  10. Totally agree--inspiration is so overrated. I love when I feel inspired and can crank out a bunch at once, but the inspiration usually only comes after making myself work on my writing for days without any inspiration at all.

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  11. YUP. I completely agree. Writing is work. (Work we love, but STILL. Work.) You just have to sit there and get your fingers on the keys sometimes. OR set writing dates with your writing friends and do check ins :) That ALWAYS inspires me!

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  12. I LOVE THIS. It's so true. If we wait around for inspiration we will be waiting forever. The best inspiration for me if the thought of a finished ms, and the only way that happens is with a little butt in chair!

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