In an attempt to get some amount of regularity and usefulness to my blog I've decided to start a weekly segment. Contrary to the title, it's not actually Friday that we're finding.
It's on Friday that we're finding...
I'm writing a novel. It might get published. It might not. It might end up a turd. That's not what matters. What matters is that for every word I write, every idea I capture and save, my creative need is fulfilled. I'm moving forward. And I've learned that (this is specifically for you) you're either moving forward, moving backward or standing still with the world moving past you.
I didn't know I wanted to write until a year and a half ago. I started off wanting to make video games. As I grew older (and this process took longer for me than it does for some) I realized I wanted to do more than create games, I just wanted to create something. I had no idea what.
The way I discovered this (and I'm leaving out details of "standing still" and "moving backward" for the sake of saving you time) was very gradual. I noticed that certain things gave me a weird feeling in my stomach. Such as
- Looking out the window of a moving vehicle at scenic locations, especially forests, plains, hills, mountains, rivers
- Certain soundtracks, especially from video games that I played in my youth... before each exciting burst of imagination came linked to frustrating, mental invoices (this may require expanding on)
- Quotes from really smart people
- Quotes from really dumb people (especially ironic quotes...)
- Office equipment (as odd as that sounds, seeing blank paper and notebooks and sketch pad has ALWAYS given me a feeling of longing... I should have realized it sooner)
I began jotting down these things that struck me. I didn't know why at the time. I was just collecting a stockpile of ideas... bricks with which to build. In this way, I learned what inspiration truly is. I knew too well the sore longing and gradual heartache that results from just letting inspiration walk past. I was sick of it. It was like like sitting on a bench, waiting on my best friend, then ignoring him when he arrived because I was obliviated by the blinders of routine.
The fact is, your friend Inspiration is going to walk by and you're going to feel regret. Again. Then you're going to tell yourself,
"Hey, I have to be realistic here. Someone's got to take care of all the bills, the yard, the kids, the dog, the car... One day I'll have more time to kick it with my friend Inspiration."
No you won't. Not unless you start right now.
Do you really think you're the first person to have two a full time jobs, seven kids, two quadriplegic cats, weekly toe-hair therapy, and daily death-metal yodeling lessons?
Someone else has their hands as full as yours and they're fulfilling their creative needs as well.
Keep it simple first. Just get a notepad, or do what I do now and use the notepad function on a cellphone. Take notes, no matter how insignificant or impossible.
"I'd love to add a shelf to the pantry"
"I'd love to build a deck and get an above ground pool for the backyard"
"I'd love to be able to jog at 60 mph and leap over trees"
For you writers, painters, sketchers, composers, and inventors, the question is not, "Which of these could only exist in a creative work?" They all could.
With enough forward movement, they could also all exist in your life.
You've heard this a hundred times but The hardest part is starting.
Are you snatching inspiration as it arrives?
How do you capture inspiration?
Do you 'notepad' as well?