On Inspiration

A few days ago, I was perusing the Humans of New York Facebook page when I saw a post that highlighted a man from Ukraine, He made a statement about what it meant in his culture to be a man, and the little writing sparks in my brain started shooting off. I called my brother, who spent a couple years in Russia and is majoring in it now, and we had an hour long conversation about traditions and culture that will add a depth to a story I’m writing that I knew was missing but I didn’t know how to work it in.

I teach a creative writing class and tell my students all the time that the most essential thing for a person to do, but especially a creative person, is to be aware. There are elements of life that want to inspire us, that are out there, waiting for us to notice.

This means we have a responsibility too. We need to get our lives to such a place where the quiet of inspiration, the coincidence of creativity, the nudge of revelation can drift in and be heard. We need to allow our process – whatever that is – the time to manifest itself, and then honor what it needs.

It will require sacrifice.

It will require trying and failing and trying again.

It will require some realigning of priorities.

It will require patience as you learn how to see things a little differently, and as you train your heart and mind and soul to work in collaboration to produce something that is true to yourself, your voice, your expression.

But the moments you will get like that I had on Friday are invigorating on a level that can’t really be explained. And as those happen more and more, the transition to more frequent inspiration becomes a little less jarring.

What do you do when reaching for inspiration? What experiences have you had when ideas just “click”?