I’ve wanted to be a writer since the day my 9th grade English teacher praised my essay in front of the class. It was one of the greatest moments of my adolescent life.
And since that day, twenty-one years ago, I’ve been trying to find the time and inspiration to write similar essays. While I’ve failed for the most part — finding the time or get inspired to write — I have realised that “waiting for inspiration” is a waste of time.
Barring a few streaks here and there, almost no creative get inspired by looking at a blank page or a canvas. They start and make things up on the way. I know that’s a blunt way to put things and may even sound illogical. But if something like creativity, intuition, and inspiration were logical, everyone will be doing it.
Just like any other creative, I struggle with the blank page syndrome as well. Except that I’m always hunting for ideas to elaborate, swagger-jack, challenge, dissect, and ponder on. Doing that has helped develop as a competent writer, leader, and communicator.
Contrary to the common belief, not waiting for ideas and inspiration has been a significant part of my success in the little world that I live in. Heck, I got sick of waiting for the right time, inspiration, and procrastinating, and decided to put this site up one day.
Three years down the lane, I’m quite convinced that writing never happens in a state of inspiration but perspiration. You’ve got to commit to sit your butt down and create. That’s what Issac Asimov, Abbey Ryan, Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami and other great creatives do — they stick to a schedule (say, 5 am?) and write, paint, or create.
As you know, inspiration doesn’t visit you for coffee at 5 am. It doesn’t give a damn about your schedule, status, or purpose. But that didn’t stop the folks above from producing their best work. Why? Because they never wrote when they were inspired to do so, they wrote because it was 5 am.
Showing up matters and committing to the act matters even more. That’s your job as a creative. The rest is a byproduct of your commitment to showing up. And who knows, you just may get inspired to produce your life’s work?
P.S. You don’t have to get up at 5 am to write. The idea is to commit to a time that works for you. For me, 5-7 am works the best as I’m the most focused.