Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Palette of Inspiration

Well. It's January, and January being the particularly grey month that it is, my inspiration tank seems to have hit an all-time low. I'm thinking maybe it's also an after-effect of reading too many books: now my words have stage-fright. 

As I said many times before, there are highs and lows to writing. It's a bi-polar process. The high energy bolts of enthusiasm that keep you up all night planning projects, scribbling notes, mind on fire with sense of possibility and purpose are random and irregular. Other times, it's the low troughs of despair, doubt and blocks. Like now. When nothing works and nothing wants to work.

But not to moan. I'm going to be pro-active about it. Right! Throw some colour at this bleak blasted month and mind. Some splashes of inspiration I've come across along the way, from artists and writers and all kinds of creatives. And because I need to write something, if I don't I feel I'll dry up and blow away, a tumbleweed in the desert.

So here goes. Some attempt to fill the void. Some lovely lines of inspiration from artists and writers alike. You've probably heard some of these before, but indulge in them again. They're like a zing of energy, zapping the lead frustration of non-writing into smithereens. Paw, bam, zwah!!! (Gibberish is also a symptom of the lows, but on a brighter note, a symptom of recovery, I hope...)

Anyone care to share their views on the lows? Their experiences? Their inspiration? I'd be glad to know!

moping and museless, 

~ Siobhán 

Every writer I know has trouble writing.  ~Joseph Heller

Writer's block is a disease for which there is no cure, only respite.  ~Terri Guillemets
If you hear a voice within you say that you cannot paint, by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  ~Vincent Van Gogh

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  ~Sylvia Plath

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.  ~Charles Horton Cooley

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.  ~Vladimir Nabakov 

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.  ~Terri Guillemets

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make.  ~Truman Capote

Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.  ~Jack London

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.  ~Michelangelo

The Possible's slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination. ~Emily Dickinson


  1. For me, it has been a hard process to come to terms with the fact that just as there are the highs, there will always be lows. I've come to look at creativity the same as the cycle of the seasons and even the cycles get frustrating. Learning to be patient with our 'winters' of creativity is hard but that time can be used the same as nature is to rest and revitalize. The lows can be used collect new information, look to skill improvement, rest the mind and put down fertilizer (that's what I call the shit we create in low times); fertilizer is important to the growth of plants, why not writers, painters, musicians, etc? Even though what we create during the low times isn't what we aspire to, it is an important part of feeding the process and the eventual outcome.

    Thanks for sharing about this very large issue for a lot of creative people. Your thoughts have actually been inspiring to me!

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for your comments. I really like the 'fertilizer' idea, what a great way of describing it! I think we can go through periods of 'hibernation' too where ideas need rest and down-time to germinate. I honestly couldn't write anything that wasn't twaddle, I struggled so much with this blog post - but once it was done, afterwards, like magic, the ideas started flowing again and the late-night scribbles. It was like the mere effort of trying to write helped open the floodgates again. Strange, all these highs and lows, but the creative highs - make every damn low worth it!

    2. And thanks Mary K for the email!

  2. As you know I'm in a creative high right now but that's not always the case. When I get into my dark moods I just let it in, I embrace it, as you stated it's part of the process. I find that listening to my audio books on creativity helps ease me back into the light again. I recently started an art journal which also has helped me become more daring in my work which in turn inspires me to create. I like Mary's seasons metaphor, though I find I'm more creative during the fall and winter months. I'm an avid gardener so my flowers are a strong distraction for me.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Esther. Journals are a great idea, I've recently just bought a new one, the only inspiring redemptive feat I could think of on a dark mood day! Now to begin filling it! Interesting that you're more creative in autumn and winter time, I'm spring - spring all the way! I find all those blue skies and budding blooms so inspiring, right now I'm counting down the days... Once the sun comes back, it's like a baptism of sorts, I think it's cause my birthday is then too. Everyone has their own season of creativiy highs, interesting isn't it?


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