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#writerswednesday: inspiration, muses and impulses
Hey my dears,
one of the frequently asked questions I get asked is:
“What inspires you?”
“Where do you find inspiration in a phase when you’re absolutely not creative?”
Cliché would say: I find inspiration in everything, the world is full of wonders, you just have to open your eyes.
And although there is truth to it, I’m not cliché enough to let it stand like that without any additional information.
Besides that I think it’s time to give credit to those that spark inspiration and help me write.
So, yes, this life, this world offers so much that you can draw inspiration from, starting with a fresh wind in the morning transporting smells to you that set your memory in motion and make you think about an event, a person or a moment of your childhood for instance that you then reflect upon. Your cat jumping elegantly onto the sofa and moving in a dainty way and you observing her to learn. It can be the weather, a flower, the news, something you see, hear, touch, perceive with one or many of your senses.
Yes, the list would get really really long and the human mind is complex enough that probably you yourself won’t be able to trace back each and every spark of inspiration that just lit the lamp in your head, you know.
But sometimes you can determine exactly where the inspiration came from.
And I’d say there are several elements that quite frequently touch upon the creative corners of the mind:
* overheard conversations
* social observations
We’ll take it step by step: People
There are people that with their worldview, their attitude, their physical appearance and presence just make you stop whatever you’re doing and draw you into a sphere full of ideas and creativity. You just want to listen, to observe, yes, you want to inhale them, take a bite, devour this energy.
There is this notion that creatives are like vampires that suck out the creative energy from people and their surroundings.
Or these sweaters that state “Careful. You may end up in my novel.” (I always wanted to have one of these tbh, haha)
And it’s not too far off to say that oftentimes we draw inspiration from the encounters we have with other people.
What I don’t like is the idea of vampire in the sense that we take away from another person. We do, kind of, but I personally try to avoid leaving the table empty, so I make sure I bring something myself, that way, an exchange and a fruitful mutually inspiring place is created for both parties.
I’d like to take this moment to express my gratitude towards the people I was allowed to encounter that moved my mind and made me think, feel and explode into creative ecstasy.
I’m grateful and I want you to know that you are special.
Oftentimes there would be two kinds of people: Those that think that what they bring to the table would never inspire anyone. And those that think they are so inspiring that you should have written a whole book for them already.
Let me tell you something: To those that think they don’t bring enough, when an artist sends you a poem, a text, a picture, they created because of the fire you or the interaction with you ignited, don’t take it as a compliment. Take it as the truth that you are special, inspiring and that you harbour more power within yourself than you probably know.
To those that think they’re giving so many great impulses: When you watch the works of an artist that you encountered, stop trying to read yourself into it and claim it yours, it will only end up in frustration once they tell you that it wasn’t you but someone else who lit that idea. And if you ever inspire an artist, know that this is something special.
I’m sorry to say that, but sometimes this cockiness drives me mad and raises another question: Would you also claim the inspiration for an artwork if it was ugly, rough, hurtful, nasty?
Everybody wants the flowers and the blooming blossoms of beauty, but you know what? Even if you encounter a critical, nasty poem full of pain, that was based on you, it’s an honour, cause you moved their emotions enough to make them write about it.
(I know it sounds weird, but let that just sink in for a moment.)
Back to gratitude: Are there specific people that you can always go to and be sure that you’re gonna go home with new ideas?
Yes and no.
There are people who have the tendency to inspire you again and again. These are the ones I’d call a muse. And I’m more than grateful to have been allowed to meet people like these.
Not many, one specifically, but it’s a precious treasure that I value a lot.
But it wouldn’t make me try to exploit that person for the sheer sake of inspiration.
Either it comes naturally or it doesn’t.
At least that’s my attitude towards it. And it is also connected to valuing and honouring your muse by not squeezing them like a lemon and leaving them empty.
Now, does that mean if some of my close friends don’t inspire me, that I love them less?
Obviously, yes! What are they good for if they don’t lit a lyrical lamp?!
Just kidding, of course the amount of poems I write for, to or about you does say something about our connection, but it doesn’t necessarily say anything about the intensity of love I feel for you or about the love I feel for others.
There are a million reasons and a billion ways to love someone, and yes, it is a special connection you have with your muse, but none of it takes away the love my heart harbours for someone I’ve never written a piece for.
Just like the saying “The beauty of another woman doesn’t take away your own.” or however it goes, it’s the same with inspiration.
So there is no need to compete or to compare yourself and the amount of works someone produced for or about you to the works someone else inspired.
It’s a process set in motion that sometimes the artist themselves can’t describe in every detail. It just is.
Nevertheless, don’t take it for granted, but also, don’t feel bad if there’s is none or just one piece of art you inspired.
This doesn’t mean you have no meaning, and it surely doesn’t mean you’re not loved.
There is this saying that you can learn from anyone, even if it’s only what you don’t want or how you don’t want to be or want to behave.
So, inspiration can be drawn from “positive” encounters, as well as from “negative” encounters.
But often we’d prefer the feel good vibe of the word inspiration than reflecting upon the possibility that even moments and people that don’t makes us feel like cakes and cherry pie can lead to a spark of inspiration. We like this idea of being a positive impulse for our surroundings, and true, it’s nice. But let me tell you something: De Profundis by Oscar Wilde would have never been written, had he not been betrayed and sold by someone he loved and thought of as a partner.
Does this now mean we need to search for struggle and suffering in order to be great artists like Oscar?
Well, we could discuss that and I have many thoughts on this topic, too, but this would rather be dealt with in a separate post or in an additional format.
Would you like to talk about it? Well, my answer is yes.
Now, before this post gets too long, I recommend you join me on my balcony to continue this chat.
I’ll announce when the random rambling and prolific ponder is on.
How about you?
What inspires you? What inspires you in people?
Can you pinpoint it down and put a finger on specific traits, expressions, movements that ignite inspiration in you?
Please let me know in the comment section below.
So long, my dears.