INspiration: Where do you find it?
You roll with the bale, balance between on and off, talk to the dog and ask your 5W’s a lot.
(This post was written June 24, 2013 . I found it, along w/ many others placed on accident in my trash folder. For me, it’s a signpost post so up it goes)
A season back, I stopped writing. I had no ideas. But I had no ideas, because I stopped sitting down in the studio and working on stupid ones.
From the super little pick-up of a book, Art and Fear:
“To require perfection is to invite paralysis. The pattern is predictable: as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly. You cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do – away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the work of your heart. You find reasons to procrastinate, since to not work is to not make mistakes…”
“What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece. The place to learn about your materials is in the last use of your materials. The place to learn about your execution is in your execution Put simply, your work is your guide: a complete, comprehensive, limitless reference book on your work…”
“For most artists, making good art” (or, I add, a good piece of written work) “depends upon making lots of art and any device that carries the first brushstroke to the next blank canvas” (or the next plot point to the paper or paragraph to the page) “ has tangible, practical value….”
“Look at your work and it tells you how it is when you hold back or when you embrace. When you are lazy, your art is lazy; when you hold back, it holds back; when you hesitate, it stands there staring, hands in its pockets. But when you commit, it comes on like blazes.”
I am learning that this is true.
A marvelous writer friend needs a listen- but less than I need a re-listen- to my audio copy of Stephen Pressfield’s “The War of Art”. (Audio is tons better here than the static book, since the purpose of this audio is to move one to action) He takes on the role of the marine sergeant he once was and gives my inspiration a kick in the pants…reminds me what I need to do to get it, and I assess where I fell short.
From Pressfield: “There’s a secret that real writers know that wanna be writers don’t and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance…
Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.
This second, we can sit down and do our work….”
“…This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
Speaking of The Muse: I watched the Albert Brooks movie by that name
Exasperating! I wanted to see Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way ala film. That’s not Brooks.
I wanted to do a rewrite of his quasi-creative sidetracks. I wanted to see the fruits of real success. Brooks’s humor grates on me. Wanted less shallow, more growth.
Yet my irritation was intriguing at the same time. What would life look like, if there really were such a guest? What would change? How would it happen? My Muse is percolating bits of a screwball boy’s young MG novel. What would my 9 year old gizmo boy do with a Muse? This is something I want to spend time with.