Inspiration…it’s elusive, maddening…the source of many a writer’s desire to dip into the dark arts in order to obtain just a tiny bit of it. Those of us who are writers live with the daily possibility that “today” inspiration may not come and it’s scary. My non-writing friends don’t have to live with this fear…they simply don’t care because they are blissfully unaware of how incredibly important inspiration is; some days I wish I was one of them…those who don’t know what they don’t know….
Over the years there have been many a writer offering advice as to how to tame this beast. I have been told to burn candles, pray, meditate, sit in a dark room until it hits, spin three times and then hunt down a small rodent to sacrifice to the writing gods…I have heard it all. That last one was actually advice from a writer from South Africa whom I met at a conference…I think he actually thought it would work and when I joked about using the neighbor’s cat instead he actually looked kind of excited…creepy… While all of these are interesting ideas I wouldn’t put much stock in them.
So how does one romance inspiration into their life? The truth is simple, you have to be open to it. Now you may be screaming at the screen…”BUT I AM!” I get that you “think” you are but in truth, chances are, you really aren’t. Being open to inspiration means taking the steps to allow it in. You have to turn off the television, shut your office door, and get some alone time with you and your muse. We live in a world of constant stimulation and that gets in the way of listening to that small, still voice inside…the one where the stories are from.
Stop trying to voodoo the inspiration in…use common sense. You will never feel inspired if your mind is busy in 100 different directions. Be still…listen…the inspiration is there but if you can’t be quiet enough to hear it….let’s face it…the neighbors only have so many cats.
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