Be Inspired (Not)

What does the word “inspiration” bring to mind? Google (yes….I googled it…) tells me that inspiration is “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: “flashes of inspiration”.

Everyone wants inspiration. (At least everyone that I’ve talked to!) Everyone seeks that elusive inspiration just around the corner, and most of us find it. We all have our moments of enlightment – however for most people, inspiration is like the long-awaited oasis in the desert. In a moment of inspiration, they start a book – and then when that inspiration runs out, they claim “writer’s block.”

People, we’re doing something wrong. To all of us, inspiration is that magical feeling or sudden creative ability: inspiration instantly equals amazing. Better than usual, at the least. But why?? Why do we wait for inspiration before doing anything? Why do we have these depressing months and weeks where we’re hopelessly uninspired and dull and “everyday”?

Inspiration is just a state of mind. INSPIRATION IS A BIG BLACK HOLE DISGUISED AS A STAR.

I have made the mistake of waiting for inspiration before doing anything. Writing a paragraph or taking a picture isn’t as much fun if I’m not inspired. It feels uninteresting and ordinary.

News flash: people with inspiration only get so far. Seriously. People with both inspiration and hard work get twice as far and then some. If you’re a photographer – if you only accepted a job when you felt inspired about it, where would you be? If you’re a writer – if you only wrote when you were inspired, where would you be?

Inspiration is nice, but it CANNOT be what we depend on.

Hard work, folks. Elbow grease and a bit of that magical state of mind.

I challenge you to do things (take pictures, write your novels, paint your masterpieces, pen your ballads) even when you’re not inspired. Don’t save your enthusiasm for your “inspired” works. Half of “inspiration” is excitement. Get excited about what you’re doing! Make a list of things that are thrilling about doing what you love to do, and read it every day.

When you feel dull and boring, work (yes, there’s that word again…all good things require work, work, and more work) on seeing things differently. From the photographer’s point of view, instead of wishing for those gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows in the chapel you saw via Pinterest, take a picture of a window you see every day.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I hope reading this motivates you.

May your journey be ever onward,

Beth

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