Inspiration: Making Way for Possibility
Many of us get frustrated with finding the perfect inspiration—whatever that means. We look high and low, above and below, as well as everywhere else in between. And sometimes we find...nothing. But what if I told you that there was always something? What if I told you that you’re overthinking things? What if I said that there is no such thing as perfect inspiration? What if instead I suggested to you that inspiration leads to possibility which ultimately leads to perfection?
Let’s look at it this way: inspiration is the condition/experience of finding motivation to engage in thought and action. In the case of us creatives, it means a full-on meet and greet with a certain vision or perspective that we hadn’t considered before. Said inspiration is not perfection itself, though our final product could be. Inspiration, then, is the catalyst of possibility.
So, now that we’ve gotten a little theoretical, let’s get real! Below you will find a brief list of activities to create possible possibilities:
1. People watch. Nothing is so intriguing as coming up with a backstory for a stranger(s). Who is s/he? Are they good or bad? Do they love danger? Do they seek a thrill? Are they downtrodden? Did they escape from prison? Are they spies?
2. Bathe. Whether in a pool or in the shower, there is something special in and about water that causes our thoughts and ideas to flow as easily as water does itself.
3. Read. Reading gives your mind material to chew on. Someone somewhere has had that lightning flash of brilliance. Moreover, people are interesting to learn about it. What can you take away from the collective experience of humanity? How could you put your own spin on things?
4. Explore. Take a new way way home or get lost trying. Seriously. It’s about the “newness” of what experiences have added to making you, you. Take a walk, bike, ride public transit, go on a road trip, stay at a different hotel; find your something more than what you knew before.
5. Meditate. Getting prayerful and thoughtful can cleanse and organize mind, body, and soul functions to make way for what’s next. Perhaps inspiration eludes you because you’re full to the brim of old thinking. Make room for your next great idea.
Of course, there are many ways to become inspired. But, there is only one rule to become that way: let it happen. That’s right! Encourage inspiration, not demand it. Embrace inspiration in whatever form it chooses to come in and trust that its possibility will guide you to creating a perfect work of literature—in due time.
Activity: Choose one of the suggestions above and journal the outcome. After three days, think about your experience. Did this work for you? If not, what other method would you be willing to try? Repeat until you find your inspiration.