If you are unfortunate enough to have an electric stove, you may have a hard time relating to this post. I’m not judging you; I’ve been there before. I’ve been there long enough that when I finally started cooking with gas, I realized instantly how much cooler it was (both as a method of heating your pans and as an expression).
When I’m ready to cook something and I turn on my gas stove, it is so quick. Turn knob, wait a few seconds while it clicks at me, and voila! Flame! Right there in the house. How clever. And convenient, because I live in a condo, so we can’t have a grill.
On the flip side of the equation, it’s cool. And I mean that literally: turn the knob to off, and it’s off. Done. No more fire. My food can sit there happily until I’m ready for it and not burn. (Don’t touch the metal, though, that’s still hot.)
I realized that inspiration is a lot like this. It’s so transient.
It can get you kick started really fast – it only takes a moment before your fire is burning and you’re off! Ready to take on new and exciting projects (or old and exciting projects, but with a new intensity). But the minute the gas goes out, so does the fire.
If the fire is that feeling of being inspired, then what’s the gas? It can be all kinds of different things, I suppose. Personally, I find that I have a hard time maintaining inspiration based off the same thing for a long period of time. One day it could be a song that really gets my creative juices flowing. But three days later, after listening to that song about half a million times, it often loses its power and just doesn’t get me as pumped up anymore. (I don’t actually count to half a million – that is what we call a guesstimate.) After that it might be a particularly beautiful sunset, or something someone else wrote, or I could just be walking along and suddenly get bopped on the head with the inspiration wand (something I believe the Muse carries).
The point is, I need to constantly seek out new methods of inspiration or I will lose my fire. And that is where writing starts to feel a lot more like work than like fun.
I’ve mentioned some of my favorites: music, reading, sitting on my balcony and watching the sky. What do you do to find inspiration?