The cusp of inspiration

Inspiration is an intangible thing. That much is agreed by everyone who’s on an artistic journey. Writing is an art form which requires flashes of inspirations to say the least. In truth, a writer needs it in bucket loads. Putting down words in coherent sentences to make a cogent piece with purpose is a goal which seems fairly unattainable for most (present company included).

But there are many times during my day when i feel particularly lofty about things in my life. Most of my pieces tend to be about self reflection and perception of the world around me. As a young (and horribly naive) adult finding his way around, I get flashes of what life really is like all the time. All I see is the reality which I was too stupid to know before, but it feels good. A good mood then, is where my inspiration starts. I feel a warm buzz in my belly, like I’ve had a great meal and my mind starts making all of these connections that it hadn’t before about the simplest of things in life. I feel like I am on the brink of writing something profound, such as the writing greats. There is nothing like a few words well put to make people swoon over the gorgeous use of literature.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on” — Robert Frost.

Things like that give people goosebumps and every aspiring writer wishes to get inspired for something like this. The train of thought I get when I get a certain way, a certain mood does feel like inspiration, but often its nothing more than just tiny realizations about the world around me. Relevant to no one, not even myself at times. This is what it feels like to be on the cusp of inspiration. Almost at the brink of something great and wonderful, but never quite getting there.

Which is not to say that its a bad thing. A lot of great ideas cannot be the norm for if everything is great, nothing is. These cusps of inspiration weed out the above average ideas and keep your mind hankering for the truly great ones. I know there’s a lot said about inspiration. Many successful people have pointed out that if you put in the hard work, inspiration usually comes. In my experience, I have found that to be true. But with everything I’ve done, the inspiration does come when I immerse myself in the subject, force my mind to think and then let go for a while. Everyone has their own process, this is mine, but inspiration is definitely a part of it. A crucial part, for without it my writing has no soul, no voice that I can call my own.

If I do not write as if I am speaking, then I consider the piece to be worthless. Utterly. It feels forced, not like me and dishonest in some way. So for better or worse, inspiration is going to be a part of the way I write. This then is my attempt to break it down into its component parts, understand its anatomy, how it comes to be and what makes it tick. The endeavour is hardly simple, its essentially the science of what causes a thought to be born. But the playground is my mind and I have an infinite amount of time with it. I can never claim to master anything that I do unless I understand it from the ground up. Until I find all the puzzle pieces, connect all the dots and do all the ground work, I do not consider myself to be a good student in any discipline.

And so it shall be with my inspiration. Perhaps its not a process that can be broken down. Perhaps it shouldn’t. But these little cusps of inspiration are what lead me to a number of my ideas and I will get to the bottom of them eventually.

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