Being Inspired (Part 5)

“I only write when I’m inspired. Fortunately I’m inspired at 9 o’clock every morning” (ascribed to William Faulkner). This quote cuts through the magic of waiting around for inspiration to the daily habits required to make it visit.

The reality is that we have to have the vehicle from which inspiration can come. We can not expect it to wake us up out of bed or keep us up out of bed every time. Inspiration is not limited to times when we are jolted out of something else.

Often inspiration comes directly through our meager attempts to focus, to stay diligent, to work when we don’t feel like it. There is a difference between being an author and a writer. A writer is one who simply writes. They are not waiting around.

Songwriters write. But they also put to music. But they also make beats. They are uniquely musician + writer/poet. But even then the task is the same. Write. Play. Produce. There will be rhythms of writing, producing, performing.

Transitions between roles as a writer and performer can be tricky. The skills are totally different. One is completely internal, fiercely independent of outside human input. The other is by very nature external and dependent on human approval.

The writer who goes on a book tour must externalize in order to bring attention to his internalizations. He must book events which means garnering a some semblance of approval, or pre-approval from people in the business.

He must seek that approval, which means denigrating himself to the level of someone who cares what others think. In this process he humiliates himself. As the artist in isolation writing and creating there is no such pandering required.

But in all reality this part of the process is just as much a reality as any other. Unless the artist can to some degree embrace it he will remain in relative obscurity (which should be fine to one who really doesn’t care). But we do care!

And care we must. To enter the business side of our craft will require great attention, work, and creativity (some may argue as much as creating the art itself), but it is the proof of our care. It is where we actualize our intentions into plans.

Planning is hard work. Deep reflection can be agonizing. There are lots of ways to go with things. We must decide on one, at least to start. And starting is what is so critical. We can get stuck so quickly in being satisfied with creating alone.

In other words, once the project is done there is a dangerous point at which it goes toxic if we do nothing more. All the hard work and lead up to it are for nought. We end up sitting on it as if in creating alone our job is done.

It is not. We need to release our work to the world. That is humiliating. The chances for failure are high. We have no guarantees. That is the risk. But every committed entrepreneur knows there is always a way in and through every failure.