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By Dustin Lee

On Inspiration

Inspiration is like a spark that starts the fire of the creative process. I don’t love inspiration, I crave it. Every time I want to write something, I am starving for inspiration to come flirt with my brain and feel the excitement that would eventually keep me up until two in the morning. I’m looking to have this indescribably exhilarating sensation that would make me feel disconnected from everything around me. Having a moment of inspiration is like floating so high, while being totally immersed in the happening of the moment , and there’s nothing like surrendering to the moment.

This is something that doesn’t happen to me every day, though I wish it did. Most of the time, I don’t have that exhilarating sensation, and all I am left with is what seems like this void waiting to be filled. This is why inspiration can be addictive. It feels like it’s the only way I can ever create something, so I start looking for it everywhere. And what I know about inspiration is that it can be anywhere. It does not exist in a specific place. Inspiration cannot be forced and will not ask for permission. There’s no magic spell. There’s only life happening, and sometimes, things work out. Sometimes, they don’t. The truth is that I have no idea how it works, and I think that no one really knows.

What I have come to realize is that waiting for inspiration will keep me waiting forever. My answer goes like this: Go for it. Be vulnerable and scared, but do it anyways. Find the courage to start something, and be ready to fail. This is what creating is all about. I am not saying that it’s easy, because it’s not. It’s really not, and I am still learning everyday how to write for the sake of writing. I am still learning how to be content with the soothing satisfaction that comes from purging my whole being in whatever it is that I am working on. Ultimately, it’s not about the poem itself, or the essay itself, or the story itself. It’s about the very organic and natural process that spontaneously took something which comes straight from the insides of my soul and made it into a substantial reflection of everything that I am.

I will now be leaving you with the beautiful words of Elizabeth Gilbert : “Just do your job, continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then “Olé!” And if not, do your dance anyhow.