The Inspiration Onion

Creativity is a strange beast. I don’t know what I think in relation to other people and what works for them. What works for me is solitude; when I’m forced to be me, to make all the choices, to be held completely responsible; when I’m forced to answer the question, what do I want to do? Step one: Be alone. Personally, I’m screwed up. If there are other people around, my view is automatically skewed. What are they doing? Should we be doing something? Let’s do a group activity. Are they having a good time? I can’t do this/that right now because they’d be bored. Who’s hungry? Et cetera. If my focus isn't 100% on me, it’s hopeless. Creativity calls for an insane amount of selfishness.

Step two: Wait. I’m a big believer in inspiration and I know it’s hard to find. Sometimes it feels as mythical as a unicorn. But you can’t rush it, you can’t force it, you have to wait for it. (I keep saying “you,” but I mean me. Deal with it.) I don’t think it’s divine intervention, however. I think it’s something we’re all capable of, but it’s a matter of finding your route to it. Kind of like learning to masturbate.

Step three: Create. When the stars align and genius takes hold, there’s nothing quite like it. Boredom dissipates, time vanishes and the body can run for hours on the magic created from that one spark. I’m definitely calling it magical. Having those moments where you’re inside yourself and pure creation is spewing out of every orifice –nothing makes me feel more like the me I want to be.

There's that school of thought that you even if you don't feel inspired, you need to keep working at it just the same. I do agree with that - I hate it, but I agree with it. In a way it's like peeling an onion, you need to cut through the paper and the too-purple, overripe layers to get to the meat of it. This will likely involve tears. It's not easy. This isn't to say that inspiration will be reached by just working at it.

[sad trombone] I just realized that I've come full circle and have no other choice than to say something clichéd. Success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. Luckily I'm a very sweaty person so I achieve success with great speed.

The sadness of it all is that those moments are few and far between. Life, my life, doesn't allow for frequency of those moments. But that’s okay. I’m not upset and I don’t necessarily want anything to change. Because at least this way, I know how fucking special it is when it happens.