Inspiration (and the Lack of It)

A few days ago, I sat down to write and my mind was a complete blank. Void. Nothing there. Not a single sentence would take shape from the keyboard. So I decided to turn to my ink and pastels instead. But it didn’t work any better. I had no idea what to do with my blurry musings.

Then I thought, “Hey, I should write a blog post about this lack of inspiration.” And as I started jotting down a few notes for this blog post, a new idea sprang, perfectly clear, into my mind. Writing about my lack of inspiration gave me an idea for another crime short story, which has actually not much to do with art or inspiration itself.

My point here is this: You can always create. Words don’t come easily every day, but if you make the effort to get your ass in the chair and your pen on the paper, words will come. Inspiration isn’t a sort of bubble floating in the air that you have to catch before it explodes.

Inspiration comes from the artist, not to the artist.

Of course, certain elements can influence it. A particular environment, a particular time of the year, being surrounded by particular people. All of this can make it feel like the muse is being generous.

But if you want the muse to stay, you have to feed them.

Start with just a topic. My topic was the lack of inspiration, but it can be anything. A word, an image, a feeling. Then write the topic down, and then maybe write where it came from. A sentence of two are created this way. And the rest is work, it’s embellishing the basic structure, adding flesh to the bones.

Therefore, stop doubting and get back to your art!


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