Inspiration can seem like something that happens by magic. However, if you’re not acting because you don’t have that rush of inspiration, you may also find that it doesn’t show up. Inspiration often has to be courted and invited, and it helps a lot of you do that deliberately.
Find out what kinds of things inspire you, and then seek that out. Live music does a lot for me, and so does reading. I read a lot of non-fiction so that I know things that can become the clay my inspiration turns into forms.
Decide what kinds of things you want to create, and learn about them. Learn the technical stuff, the skills, the forms. Again, this means that if inspiration strikes, you’re ready for it. Nothing is going to happen if I get a really good idea for an opera because I don’t really understand opera and don’t have the technical skills to write one.
Make time for doing the things, you have more chance of being inspired when you’ve got your guitar in your hands, or a notebook in front of you, or whatever it is you work with.
Also make time when you aren’t doing anything too deliberate with your brain. You can pair this with any gentle activity that doesn’t demand your concentration. Walking, gardening, domestic stuff, gazing at the sky, doing some unchallenging crafting… it all works for making the space where you can have those flashes of inspiration and develop ideas.
When you have a flash of inspiration, hang on to it and make time to develop it. It’s not enough to be inspired, you also have to act.
I think this is true, broadly speaking, for anything that looks like magic. There are elements of many things we do that can feel like a flash of lightning out of nowhere. However, in practice if you’re putting in the time – prayer, rituals, spells, conversations, research, etc then there’s nothing random or inexplicable about the inspiration that comes to you, because you have invited it into your life.
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