Please forgive me for my long hiatus, I wish I had an honest excuse. I can only express my sincerest apologies. Interestingly today, I'll be talking about one of the few "valid" reasons why I've been away. My inability to find inspiration.
If you're a writer, you've probably heard of the inspiration. That one thing we're all chasing that somehow eludes us like the wind. Some call it the creative genius, the one that pulls you. Sometimes when you're going about your normal day, you find an idea come to you that is so 'crazy' you have to put it down. It is so compelling, it forces you to stop whatever you're doing and just put it down, right there! And when you're done putting it down, you feel like you just ran a marathon and won. You're exhilarated and so excited and when you look down, it's a masterpiece. Now, that's all well and good, until you wake up a few years later and find yourself unable to recreate the magic. Unable to find the inspiration.
Well, honestly, it has happened to me. Although I am one of those writers who hardly chase inspiration, I must confess, I have had times when I just could not find the magic. I don't chase inspiration because of my quiet nature, I have too much in my head and not enough time to put it down. So one day I got thinking, why do I not seem to have the "creative genius"? The answer happened to me (funny I know). I was woken up one day by this great need to put down my thoughts immediately ( If you know me, you'll understand how much I love my sleep). I started writing and the words just flowed and when I was done, I felt the magic!
It occurred to me then the difference between the two. When I write and write because I haven't talked to anyone in a while about the things in my head, I don't feel magic, I feel satisfied, the way you feel after a conversation with a good friend. But when I write just because I must, because I feel the words coursing through me, I feel like I'm walking in the clouds and my writing at that moment, it's a masterpiece. I feel like showing everyone, look what I created, look what I saw, look! And when they feel it too, in their hearts, when my writing gives an emotional response that even I feel when I re read it, I feel the magic! Now, that's inspiration.
Why though is it so magical? Why does it bring such an emotional response with it? Why do we always go back to it? It is because inspiration is you. I read a book once, one that taught me something. It says that to be a truly remarkable writer, I have to leave my heart out on the page, I have to show up, dig deep and pour my heart out.
As writers, we're always creating a balance between finding that magic and writing for the money, to put food on our table, for those who live on it; or for the deadline, for those who just have to. So sometimes because you know it will go to a million and one readers, we're afraid to show up on those pages, to be painstakingly honest because then people might not agree and that will hurt. It's why artists don't show some of their works, it's why their are some writings, writers keep with them. What I have come to find out though is that, that honesty is beautiful, it is the true magic. And whether anyone agrees or not, telling the honest truth frees us. It gives us the freedom to be our truest selves, and who wouldn't want that?
The reason why it eluded me then was because I was too afraid to be honest. I didn't want to show up but I now realise that putting your whole heart out there, right there in every letter, every word is magic. It is why we have consistently amazing writers, song writers, sculptors, artists, actors; their inspiration comes from within. It is about looking at the environment and putting everything on the line for that story. They give and give till they can no more. The real magic, the one we call inspiration, the one that can wake you up at night, like it did me, comes when our emotions, our feelings, our fears, our joys, our sadness, our pains is reflected in our works. That is when you truly create a masterpiece, magic!