Thursday, February 15, 2024

Don't Wait For Inspiration

I attend Tuesday night Zoom meetings for Pinellas Writers. The issue of whether or not to wait for inspiration comes up frequently. I've read a lot of really good writers opinion on this and it's almost always - don't wait.

James Clear, who wrote a book I really enjoyed called Atomic Habits, has a newsletter I subscribe to. Recently he had the following in his newsletter:

Chuck Close self portrait

"Painter and visual artist Chuck Close on inspiration:

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to do an awful lot of work.

All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case."

Source: Interview (March 2007)"

I think Chuck Close's words are one of the best explanations of why sitting around waiting for inspiration does not work.

I Like To Move It

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