Which stinks when you think about it, because I’m pretty sure a fairy is WAY faster than I am. So what chance do I have of catching that elusive inspiration?
Well, Jack London was ruthless when it came to inspiration, saying, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
If Inspiration Tinkerbelle is anything like she was in that Disney version of Peter Pan, she’d probably take exception to being chased around with a club. So while I’ve never actually assaulted or bludgeoned inspiration, I have found a few ways to keep it flowing:
- Get enough sleep – I’m one of those people who simply can’t think if I don’t sleep. So that means I consistently get seven or more hours of sleep a night.
- Take naps – Yeah, I’m on a roll with this sleep thing, huh? Actually my inspiration naps aren’t so much naps as they are 20-minute Twilight Zone floats. I sprawl out on the couch, or occasionally the bed, and give myself enough time to float, but not enough time to truly fall asleep. I’ve had some great ideas come out of that Twilight Zone “nap.”
- Exercise – I’d like to do a better job here, but I do walk my dogs every day. And believe me, with two 60-pounders on either arm, I don’t have much choice but to move along at a fast clip.
- Be creative without words – When I find myself in the craft store stroking the balls of yarn, I know it’s time to pick up a small non-writing project. I’ve done everything from crocheting beanies to assembling a collage book (one of my absolute fave projects!).
- Fart around on Pinterest – You’re right, this can be an absolute time suck. BUT if I reward myself with it after my work is done for the day, it’s like playing cut-out with magazines. It’s tons of fun to create boards that relate to my books, but I also maintain personal boards like the one for my cabin.
- Hang out in nature – I mentioned exercise above, but it’s almost impossible for me to go on a solo walk among the trees and other living things without having an idea bonk me over the head. Maybe it’s just something about the quiet, both inside and outside myself.
- Listen to music – So many of my story ideas relate to songs I’ve heard. And yes, since I’m a Southern gal, most of my music is country. You may not be a country fan, but it’s hard to deny those songs are full of stories!
Inspiration is a personal thing to authors and other creatives. So what London was saying is that we can’t lounge around on a chaise just waiting for Tinkerbelle to light on our shoulders. Inspiration requires us to be proactive. And being proactive takes time.
But honestly, what deserves your time and attention more than your creativity?
Does inspiration seem like a mystical thing to you?