I want to talk about inspiration today. What inspires us? So many things can. The photo here, badly taken, of a piece of artwork shows one of my touchstones for inspiration. It was done by Courtney Cantrell, author and artist, whose blog Court Can Write is one I visit regularly.
I am not sure what exactly makes this picture so helpful to me, but I know that when I gaze upon it, I feel peacefulness and calm. I think I need those two things to find inspiration. I need to clear away all the detritus of the day, find a calm center, and let my mind open up to the possibilities in the universe. So many times feelings and thoughts clutter up my mind, enclosing me in my own little world, a solitary place. Inspiration comes from connections. Connections to the world all around us. My job is to break free of my box where rules and expectations about what to write keep me from writing at all. Opening up my mind to the cosmos at large is to free myself of all constraining tethers and float among the world of ideas.
I realized today that I have been forcing myself to come up with the next story idea. I’ve been listening to the ‘shoulds’ and the expectations from without and within. Things like, I should write a short book, a short story, or I shouldn’t write anything else in the Gaiaverse for a while. I should take a break.
But you know, I don’t really feel like taking a break. And I don’t know if I want to leave the Gaiaverse just yet, when my head is bubbling with ideas for a third book there. I started writing longhand last night, just notes, and I had three pages without trying on a third book in the series.
Where does inspiration come from? Sometimes it comes from staring at a favorite piece of art and letting myself open up and fly into the realm of possibilities. Sometimes it comes from a dream, a song, a conversation, a look, a laugh, a smile. It can come from anywhere, as long as we are open to it. Finding inspiration is less about searching for it and more about just letting it happen.