Wednesday, July 1, 2009

INSPIRATION

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
What inspires you? Do you wait for inspiration before you can bring yourself to act or do you begin your journey and become inspired along the way? What sparks your creativity?

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." --Pablo Picasso

Everywhere we look we can find a means of inspiration. I live in one of the most beautiful places in this country. When I am fortunate enough to be at the beach to witness the beauty of the sun setting into the gulf, I feel as though I should be giving the sun a standing ovation. As it drops through the clouds, it turns the sky the most amazing colors of pink, purple, and orange. It is something that I will never tire of and an occurrence that is always inspiring. If I were a painter I would be out there with my easel and paints...but instead, I grab my camera and snap away, hoping to capture as much of this natural miracle as I can.

"The greatest inspiration is often born of desperation." --Comer Cotrell

This is so true for me, especially when song writing. It seems that when I am feeling sad and desperate, the lyrics just flow. I don't know that they're great lyrics, but they do seem to come so much easier than if I'm writing because I was "forced" to. I stay "in the zone" so much longer and seem to get much more accomplished. As for writing my novel, my very first pages were written out of desperation. A very bad day happened to be the catalyst that finally ignited my ever growing desire to write. After that though...

"When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best -- that is inspiration." --Robert Bresson

I didn't have a clue what I was doing when I started writing my novel. I just knew that I had something in me that I needed to get out. Don't get me wrong...I am an avid reader so I basically know how it all works. I know what I like anyway, so I guess I had some sort of starting point. But basically, I was driving blind. I sent a chapter or two to Barb and to my surprise, she thought they were great. Her very kind words warmed my heart and although she is my sister, I knew that she was being as honest as she could possibly be. I knew that if it was bad, she would tell me as subtly as possible, "Yo dude, that sucked. Not your thing." But she REALLY liked it and suggested I send it to Beth seeing how she is the one with numerous published books. I was nervous but sent it anyway. I knew if it was bad, she would tell me in her very sweet way, "It was pretty good, but how's the music business going?" But she also liked it and thought maybe I had something and offered some great advice. Their words inspired me to keep going. But...

"Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience." --Henry David Thoreau

For a few weeks, I would write almost every night. It came so easily, like the flood gates had been opened and nothing could stop the rushing water. The ideas came to me while lying in bed at night and I would run the thoughts through my head all the next day until I could sit down and pour them into my pages. But then life happened and I got side-tracked. And even though I had the thoughts, I didn't take the time to write them down. I have tried to get back to my book, but I know that those words above are so true. If I force myself, it will not be as exciting as if I had penned them in the heat of inspiration. So I will wait...

"The torpid artist seeks inspiration at any cost, by virtue or by vice, by friend or by fiend, by prayer or by wine." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did he write this about me? I'm sure we all feel this way sometimes. Waiting for something, someone, anything, anyone to inspire us. Have you ever listened to the lyrics of a song and thought, "What the hell were they smoking"? I know that I have looked at numerous paintings by Salvador Dali and wondered, "What was he on when he painted that?". When you have the desire or even the need to be creative and you can't seem to pull it out of yourself, how do you do it? The prayer and wine are looking pretty good to me.

"Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant, they is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks." --Johann Gottfried Von Herder

Imagine a world with no art, no music, no literary works. Where would we all go to escape? What a dull, dull world it would be. My entire life has revolved around the arts in one way or another, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Inspiration. What a wonderful thing. What inspires you? Who inspires you? What or who is it that gets your creative juices flowing? I'd love to hear.

"Inspiration and genius--one and the same." -- Victor Hugo

32 comments:

Beth Ciotta said...

This is a very well written and thought provoking post, Bren. I'll have to come back and comment more later in the day. (Rushing to work). Your thoughts and those quotes raise all sorts of warring feelings for me. I do believe my best writing happens when I am 'inspired'. Unfortunately, when you sign publishing contracts, you are then commited to deadlines. Inspiration becomes a luxury that you cannot always afford. Lately, I have been contemplating passion over inspiration. What can I do to make sure I feel 'passionate' about the story I am writing? Passion and inspiration may seem like the same thing to some people. But to me, there is a subtle difference. Either one with light a fire under my creative butt. The problem is when both are absent.

SIS Beth

flchen1 said...

Just popping in to say hi, Bren, Barb, and Beth! Sorry I missed Monday's post--that was excellent, too! Not enough brain power to comment now, but maybe later, assuming I survive the day ;) (Driving and chaperoning today for the day camp picnic at the beach... yikes! ;))

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi!

Loved the post and the quotes! Who inspires me? People that don't give up. people that see a challenge, a mountain ahead of them. They know the odds are against them, but they push onward and upward. Those are the people that inspire me.

What inspires me? Blue skies, hot days, children laughing, a good book. A bad day, sad tears, fear. Many things inspire me and I can definitely tell a difference in my writing depending on my mood that day. I'm not sure if that is a good thing???

In regards to not being inspired to work on your book, that's okay. lay it down for awhile and write about something else. Your posts are one form of creative writing and there are many more. I read a "how-to" book recently and the author addressed this. One of the exercises she had me do was to sit somewhere, anywhere, and observe people. Write about them, describe them, make u things about their lives, their emotions. Not only was it fun, but it totally motivated me to get back to my book and used what I had learned.

Didn't mean to ramble but this is a really great topic!

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Beth,

I too think there is difference between inspiration and passion. Sometimes I find passion lights a bigger fire under my butt!

Right now, seeing what you're going through, I am happy not to have a deadline. (although it is a goal of mine and one I am passionate to achieve!)

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Fedora,

I completely understand that chaperoning job of yours! LOL! You mentioned a day at the beach. Where do you live?

I live by Lake Michigan and they love to call that a beach. Having lived in Florida, I simply laugh.

SIS Barb

Mary Stella said...

GREAT post, Brenda! Keep at the writing and you will succeed.

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Fedora,

A day at the beach? Obviously you don't live in my area! It will be rainy all day! Enjoy your chaperoning (if you can) and enjoy the beach.

SIS Bren

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Good Morning Sisters,

Beth,
You're right. Passion and inspiration are two different things. When you are faced with a deadline, as you are, it probably does do good to rely on passion. Remember why you started to write in the first place. The passion to be creative. Both passion and inspiration will grab you again, let's just hope it's sooner than later.
Barb, one of my favorite things to do with Jerry is to people watch. We love to observe them and we even go as far as to say hello and ask how they are just to watch their response. Some people just ignore us and keep walking, others give a curt reply, some are much more friendly. Oh, and some are complete whackos. Anyway, it sounds like a great lesson and one I will try. I'm sure it was inspiring.

SIS Bren

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks for stopping in. I will keep writing, I enjoy it too much to stop!

SIS Bren

B.J. said...

Great post Brenda. I love the quote from Pablo Picasso. The beauty of nature is always inspirational.

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hello B.J.,

I agree. I love to just drive around and look at the incredible beauty that surrounds us every day. See you soon and hello to the green-toed one.

SIS Bren

Tori Lennox said...

Oddly enough, I blogged about musical inspiration today on my blog. Nowhere near as eloquently as you, though, Bren. :)

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Tori,

Thank you for the compliment. I'll have to hop over and read your blog. That is odd...

SIS Bren

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Tori,

I didn't realize you had a blog but now that I do I will be sure to frequent it!

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Fedora... Hoping you survived day camp. A chaparone. You, brave soul, you.

BJ... I'm with you. The Picasso quote rocked. Although Emerson quote is pretty darn cool, too. *g*

Tori... Just read your blog post--Nice! Also, added a link to you in the SIS blog roll!

SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Barb and Bren, thank you for your support re: my current predictament. Currently contemplating passion... which I may have to blog about Friday. *g*

Now... onto those revisions!

SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Go Beth Go!

Bren, do your Tony Little impression for Beth. "YOU CAN DO IT!"

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Beth,

Here goes... "ahem...YOU CAN DO IT!" I sounded just like him didn't I?

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Shut the front door!

That was dead on!

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Get the bat!!!!!!
Thanks.
SIS Bren

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Great. Now I have to google Tony Little.

;) SIS Beth-the-hermit

Olga said...

Dearms have been one of my biggest inspiration. Seriously!

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Olga,

I have amazing dreams and have often toyed with the idea of turning them into a screenplay. They are so vivid, but usually very strange so I don't know that they would make a good movie...or at least a movie that the average person would want to see.

SIS Bren

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Olga,

I have a hard time getting dreams out of my head sometimes. Perhaps I should try to let them inspire me in my writing.

Thanks for the idea!

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Okay. Googled Tony Little. Went to his website and he spoke to me. ME! He said, "You CAN do it!"

And now... I really think I can. I just might buy that bobblehead of him. The one offered on his website. But only if it speaks.

SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Beth,

Is there seriously a bobblehead? I'm headed to the site to check this out.

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Olga, dreams are a wonderful source of inspiration. Although, like Bren, mine are usually very weird. Were I to incorporate them into my stories, I'd be writing Fantasy. I always seem to be saving people in extreme circumstances. Hmmm. Maybe there IS a story in that!

SIS Beth

Richard said...

WOW, Brenda! Such an incredibly deep, well-written, open DEEP post. I have nothing to actually comment ABOUT it ... other than to say, I can not wait to be able to read the fruits of your labor.

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Richard,

Hopefully someday you'll be able to read my work. IF I can ever get back to it and actually finish it and IF I am fortunate enough to get it published. Thanks for stopping by!

SIS Brenda

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Richard,

Sorry, I meant to say thanks for the compliment.
Hope your day is great.

SIS Brenda

Richard said...

Ah, Brenda --- still Brenda (and a LOT like me, I see --- and I do NOT mean that in a bad way;)!!).
You needn't have added the "thank you" comment --- writing back directly to me was thank you enough. But, your first post makes me think of myself (and your WAY too damned perceptive sister, Beth's, observation, which has given me NO end of soul-searching!) and, perHAPS, my fear of success, as opposed to my fear of failure. Anyway, psycho-BS aside, if you do NOT get back to the writing, overall it's your CHOICE --- blaming it on "circumstance," as I do SO often, is a lame excuse. Ask Beth -- how many times COULD she have not "gotten back to" that FIRST book of hers, for this reason and that reason, if she allowed herself the "luxury" of being a "victim of circumstance/LIFE"? You can and you MUST get back to it! FINISHING it will come at its OWN pace .. but (and this is the HARDEST part, I assure you with my LIMITED experience; and, again, ask Beth) "finishing" something is more about FORCING yourself to do so than actually REACHING that "perfect" point of closure. Last of all, I will NOT debate your final phrase --- getting your work PUBLISHED is ALL about timing, luck, connections, blah blah blah ... BUT, NOT an excuse to stop writing! In other words (back me up on this, Beth;)!), you write what you write because you just HAVE to get it out, because you DO have a glimmer of hope in your heart that OTHERS will appreciate (and BUY!!!;)) it. The END result of publishing and distribution is merely an extension of the BIZ, not the ART! Try to not let "acceptance" dictate your output!
That's all I got for now --- and, even in re-reading it myself, I don't know if it makes any sense;)! MOST simple -- Brenda, write because you have a burning desire to put your unique thoughts on paper --- any- and everything else is just noise!
Pax vobiscum

Richard said...

Oh, and P.S. ---
published or not, I would LOVE to read your work --- ask me for my email address! Publication doesn't make it BETTER -- only "commercial viable";)!

Post a Comment