“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London
If you’re going to do this writing thing, you have to figure out how to go after your own inspiration.
There are many things in life we can get handed down to us – preferably of course the first being money.
Then again maybe you aren’t going to inherit a big plantation or a huge wad of cash but you did make out O.K. in terms of brains and good looks.
But then on the other hand maybe your ancestors were mostly mean and crazy and didn’t have much to pass on in terms of intellectual wattage, and whatever good looks your mother blessed you with have now been wrinkled over by the ravages of time.
It’s just you honey, little money, not much brains and a mere passable appearance.
You can still find your own inspiration – true guidance that may lead you to success as a writer, as an entrepreneur or in any field of endeavor where you end up having to think for yourself, which to my way of thinking would cover this field of endeavor we call life.
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life” Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy”
I was chatting this morning through the social media with a friend of mine who’s a writer who was feeling a little stuck.
We all get there sometimes so naturally me being me I was trying to cheer him up.
“When I was trying too hard with my writing I was just giving myself migraines,” I wrote to him.
Here are three great ways you can go about finding your own inspiration other than with a club:
Establish your own ritual. When I start my yoga classes, we begin with a long warm up, breathing, stretching, gradually awakening the body. You can do the same thing when it comes to your own creative process. When I was beading, I would set up my table, position my high wattage lamp and then begin fingering my beads, feeling the texture of them in my hands. When I was knitting, I would sit on the sofa, place my bag of yarn at my feet and prop myself up with pillows. When I write, I like to wake up first thing in the morning when there’s nothing else to do yet, the phone’s not ringing, nobody has started emailing me and the whole house is quiet. I lumber downstairs in my pajamas (most of my books have been written while wearing pajamas), grab my laptop and then go back to bed where I prop myself up with pillows, spreading the blankets all around me to where I’m totally relaxed. From this quiet, super soft and cushy position I can listen intently to my inner voice and the words just flow through.
Meditate. Many scientists far more eloquent than me have illustrated the scientific benefits of meditation, what it does for our brain, how it helps our creativity. Here’s what I have to say about it. You can’t really write well from your ego. That’s a bunch of bullshit that comes out (technical term but we all know what that means) and if you end up writing from your know-it-all-self, well guess what, everybody will be able to tell and so will you. It will end up sounding like drivel. The best writing comes from your soul, from your higher self, from the part of you beyond all space and time who has the widest possible perspective. You have to get your little self out of the way to allow your big self to step into the void. Make space for your soul to speak and the best way I know to do that is by meditating before I write. I like Insight Timer app but sometimes I just lie in bed, breathing and praying.
Ask for guidance. OK, you’re sold. You recognize that when you and other people write from your ego mind it ends up sounding like an ad for Home Depot (“Buy more lumber today.”). When I simply pray and ask for guidance about what to write about, usually I’ll get a simple answer, a few words, a phrase, a sentence. And then I can go to town just following that thread, just allowing myself to be used in the best possible way for the highest good of all. After all in the end I don’t really know what I’m talking about. I know nothing. When I accept and admit I don’t know anything at all but that I can indeed ask with deepest sincerity then I am very good at following direction.
End of Rant.
Once I’m done writing, I get up, fold up my laptop, put my clothes on and take my dog Dixie for a walk, knowing and experiencing that a day I’ve started by writing will be a great day indeed.