Searching for Inspiration
There are some days when I don’t feel much like writing.
I might’ve had a tough day delivering PR projects, or meeting deadlines or even been vexed by an employee issue and on those days the words end up flowing like mud and I am stuck.
Of course, I suppose there are many like me: the best hairstylist who on some days doesn’t feel like being a hairstylist and the teacher who doesn’t feel like being a teacher.
Fortunately, we all have appointments, commitments and jobs so we show up and perform. I have to write proposals, client collateral, ads, articles and blog posts. My clients and my business depend on it, and most of the time the responsibility is enough get me over the hump, and back to being in the zone doing the work that I love.
What if responsibility isn’t enough, where do you go for inspiration? For me, there are two things that work.
The first is to wait to be inspired, hope that the idea comes to you and prepare yourself to capture it when it arrives. The other is to seek out the ideas, will it to appear, train it to arrive on time and on command.
I know what you’re thinking. The second method seems like it’s for the army. Who can think and perform on command? However the first method is unappealing simply because it plays into the fears and gives wide berth to the excuses.
After all, if you’re not inspired, then it is not your fault that you missed a deadline. It’s not your fault nothing great is accomplished. It’s not your fault that delivering second best becomes acceptable.
The second method actively engages the resistance muscles. It challenges the fear and announces that you’ve abandoned defeatism and instead are prepared to work. Your first idea might not be a winner, or even your second or your tenth, but once you dedicate yourself to this cycle, a remarkable piece of work may evolve.
Simple example: when I started a business column 12 years ago in Barbados, I had no idea there were many stories to tell. Yet I wrote every week of every month of every year. Each time I did it, I surprised myself. In the process I’ve found discipline to be the stunning first cousin of creativity.