Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Slippery Inspiration

I've been thinking about my writing process lately, wondering why I can't seem to make time for more writing in my life. I worry that I'm making excuses, that I'm letting fear keep me from putting words down. I'm busy, as always, and I've been going through a number of transitions over the last year and a half. But is that really what's holding me back? Shouldn't a writer HAVE to write? I've been journaling more, writing notes about things I'd like to delve into more deeply, occasionally developing an idea into something fuller and more complete. But is that enough for now or am I fooling myself?

As a writer, I'm always finding inspiration around me. Maybe it comes from a conversation I overheard at the grocery store or a news report on TV or a book I'm reading. Sometimes it comes from something as simple as the colors of the leaves or the stars in the night sky. Finding inspiration has never been a problem for me. Ideas are all around me.

The problem with inspiration is that it's slippery. It comes and goes, and if I don't grab onto it, I lose it. If I don't take advantage of it when it strikes, I lose the fire as time passes. But I don't always have the time when inspiration strikes. I wish I could somehow figure out how to make it stick. Instead I let other obligations snuff out all my creative energy.

There isn't much I'd rather do more than writing. When I'm sitting at my desk at work, I'd almost always rather be blogging or working on my latest creative project. But at the end of a long day, I find it hard to open the laptop and put in the effort it takes to write something worth sharing. When the weekend rolls around, I'm so tired from running around and meeting my obligations that I find it hard to tap into that creative vein and let the words flow. Even now, while I sit on my couch, my dinner eaten, my yoga practice finished, the cat in my lap, and my bed time looming, I wonder if the time and energy I'm taking to write this is worth it.

And then I know it is. Even if only to remind me how it's done, that it's not as hard as I think it's going to be. Yes, it takes effort, but it also feels good to see the words on the screen, to hear the clicking of the keys, to find a rhythm as the sentences begin to flow. So when that inspiration seems to have slipped away, when I open my journal and find notes about some moment that I can't quite remember, I'll choose dig into it anyway. I'll close my eyes and try to return to that place where the creativity bubbled up inside of me. I'll open my eyes and start to write, knowing that not everything that comes out on the page will be inspired, but at least it will be mine.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Ami. Here's a great trick I learned. If you want to dedicate yourself to something, try to do a small, tiny bit everyday, even if that means you just sit at your computer for a second and re-read what you have already wrote. Just keep re-solidifying your intention. Eventually, your habits will change and you will find yourself making time to write. Also, if I do not keep notes in my phone about my inspirations, I'll forget them. Email yourself your ideas, or text them to yourself when you are out and about. That way you never lose your inspirations. Just a friendly tip. Love to you!

Ami said...

Thanks for the tip, Amber! Good ideas!

Clicky Web Analytics