When do you create? Do you only create when inspiration strikes and you feel this manic need to express it? Will you pick up the pen or paintbrush only if an idea has clearly presented itself in your mind? Or do you take action no matter what state you're in? Show up to do the work regardless of the clarity in which you see the outcome.
Many people approach the creative process as though it is an inconsistent flow. It may happen one day and not the next. Maybe for a month it is constant and intense and then it takes a hiatus for a year.
For my own process, I have found myself becoming inspired more often when I show up and do the work no matter what. I don't wait for the inspiration to come first. Even if I don't really feel like it, I go to my studio and at least do something creative.
Certainly, there are times that creativity flows a lot more effortlessly than others. There are times where it feels like a battle to get things out. Even for me writing this article, it took some time for it to even start to come out. I started over a few times. But I sat down to write it regardless and now here it is.
Sometimes the work that comes through isn't the best, sometimes it is. Just like when I'm creating from a more "inspired" state, it is hit or miss. Often times, the idea we have in our head and the expression of it gets lost in translation regardless of how inspired we are.
The difference in showing up no matter what and only doing it only when we are inspired is the level of commitment that is shown. I would argue that inspiration comes more often to the one that is committed. It is about creating a stillness inside so the ideas can flow. If we only take action when we are clear about the path, we will naturally distract ourselves with other things and block the ideas from coming in.
A door doesn't usually open before you knock on it. Sometimes you knock on it and there is no answer and so you have to come back. Maybe you have to come back 3 or 4 times. But you still have to show up to the door before it is opened to you. A muse will come to the one who is present and ready to receive her.
It is even more important that once inspiration comes, we act on it. An idea that is not acted upon very quickly will die. Ideas do not want to die, they want to be expressed. Therefore, they come more often to those that act on them and give them life.
If we have creative thoughts, I feel it is our duty to express them. The struggle of an artist is representing ideas in a way that is as close to the original thought as possible. That is where mastering our craft comes into play. The more we master it, the more we are able to dance with the muse and give her life. But guess how mastering our craft comes to be? It only happens when we show up!
So my point is, show up and don't make excuses. I know sometimes it can be difficult when we don't clearly see the end goal. That is why I say it is half the battle. If we want more inspiration though, we have to be there at the door knocking, ready for when it opens and create magic with what we find inside.