Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Inspiration is a Process

I'm coming to understand that inspiration comes and goes of its own accord, and it is much easier to ride the gentle waves instead of trying to force it to go your way. In counseling I learned this lesson about life in general, which is where surrender enters in, but for the creative process it is equally important.

I have always been queen of the to-do list. I would make my list, and power through it, feeling immense satisfaction when I could cross something off. The problem with making a to-do list for creative pursuits is that you don't factor in the ebbs and flows of the inspiration process. I'm still making lists, but when I feel like doing something on my list, I find it goes much easier than when I just want to accomplish the task.

Waiting for the impulse to do something creative is a new thought for me, but I'm testing it out and finding that it really does work. On a certain day, I might get the urge to sketch out my author website, and another day I might explore a new idea for a story or a screenplay. Or maybe I finally feel like updating the school books for each of my children.

It's not easy for me to wait for inspiration to strike. I prefer to be proactive in the way I approach these things, but it's a bit like fighting against the current not to wait until the creative inspiration flows. The key is to tap into what is happening, not try to make it happen. This is the best kind of creativity, because it comes from somewhere outside of my own ambition and drive, and has a purity and beauty all its own.

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