Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Problems With Inspiration: What To Do?

No one realizes inspiration, the struggle to get it, the indecisiveness when you get it, what to do with it. Do you know how hard it is? You're falling asleep, but inspiration comes to you, and you're wide awake, pounding away on the keyboard, rushing to get it on the screen before it fades. Or how about when you're trying to get your work done, and guess what comes? You put everything on hold, and scribble away on a piece of paper, just to get it recorded, just to get it out. Before you know it you're behind on schedule.

Why would you do these things you ask? Because when you don't, the inspiration just drifts away, and you're left with nothing but half a memory of the art that could have been born. You end up regretting you never did write it down while it was fresh in your mind, inspired. You might try to force it out, but it never turns out right, not the way it would have been had you written it down while it was there. Or maybe you just don't care for inspiration. You write whenever you feel like it. But don't you need inspiration to feel like writing? Maybe you just write when you have time, the time when inspiration refuses to come. You end up sitting in your chair, staring at a blank screen and a blinking cursor that just pisses you off in the end.

It's hard to write stories with nothing to write about. Same goes for painting and drawing and poetry. Even music. Art is the same all around. It spawns from inspiration, creativity, and a little bit of talent or ability. Perhaps inspiration chooses who it wants to inspire, maybe at random, maybe at the most inconvinient times for the person...


keikomushi said...

I used to think that inspiration came freely, but it does cost you something, and that is the effort that it takes for you to archive it for a later time. It often takes months to make sense of those little notes that you wrote as well. This is often a painful process, but in the end you will have something that is your own.
But given the importance of inspiration, we still need to practice the art of writing, lest we lose the connection with the language that we are using. Practice really does make perfect, and by practicing our skills, we can make it easier to unravel meaning from inspiration when it comes.
That is where writing groups come in handy. They offer support; answer questions; share thoughts and experiences; and often have games and/or activities for members. Groups like Liberty Hall have regular writing challenges, and having done a few myself, I know that they can really bring you out of your comfort zone. If you are interested in a few links then feel free to email me.

Jane Opal said...

Oh my gosh! That is sooo true!
Everything seems to come in spurts for me. Especially with For A Reason. I keep finding myself writing parts of the story out of order and then finding ways to join them together later. I just hope that the end results makes sense.

My English teacher is always saying that to become a good writer, you should try to write everyday, even if you have to force yourself. Don't get me wrong, she's a good teacher. But this is one thing that I DEFINITELY disagree with.
You can't force creativity, and you can't turn it on and off like a light.

*me said...

Ah, I can so relate to that. Sitting on my desk, pen in hand, waiting, and waiting for something to write, you need to write something, but nothing comes. Those days are quite frustrating to say the least. I like your writing, well what I've read so far, despite your style being slightly on the dark sounds interesting :]

keikomushi said...

Immerse yourself in experiences and keep a journal of any thoughts, ideas or images that spring up. In time you will likely make sense of the mess of information. Experiences don't always lead to inspiration right away but you can't hide away and expect inspiration to find you as you stare at that vacant wall.