Writing

Inspiration Won’t Save You

When you’re a creative person who happens to be in a slump, well-meaning friends will tell you that’s fine. You’re just “waiting for inspiration to strike.”

While I agree that being in a slump occasionally is fine and normal, I don’t agree with waiting for inspiration.

I’ve been writing, drawing, and various other things for a long time now, and I’m here to tell you: This mindset is a load of nonsense.

Inspiration is exciting when it grabs onto you. It’s intense and amazing and feels like it will never end, right up until it does end.

So you sit there, wondering when it will come back. And since you aren’t using your creative muscles, they do what actual muscles do with prolonged periods of unuse.

They atrophy.

Suddenly, you haven’t done anything in months or years, and you’re nervous to even get back into it.

This is why I completely disagree with waiting for inspiration to strike. You can’t rely on it consistently, and it won’t carry you through a project.

Inspiration is a fickle lover that will be devoted to you one week, then ignore your calls the next. Inspiration will not save you.

Discipline will.

Discipline keeps you going when you don’t want to. When you want to take the easy way out, or think it’s been too long and you’ve lost your touch, so why even try?

Don’t be afraid to make something that you think sucks. So many people fear this. It’s part of the process, and no one has to know about your “failed” creations, except you.

The important thing is to not stop. Pick up that pen. Write. Draw. Pick up that instrument and play. Keep those muscles moving and keep them strong.

You’ll see something amazing happen when you do.

Inspiration has a tendency to desire collaboration with discipline. You’ll find that working with both of them together, is vastly superior to simply relying on inspiration.

Think of discipline like swimming in the ocean, and inspiration as surfing a wave. You don’t need to surf to swim in water, but you do need water to surf.

Don’t punish yourself and wait for inspiration to strike.

You deserve more.

Invest in discipline.

~ Sara Myriad 2021

4 Comments

  • Andy B

    So much truth here! Yes, inspiration is to creative pursuits as finding a $20 is to finance. Nice. Certainly no substitute for discipline.

  • Damian

    “Don’t be afraid to make something that sucks”. That speaks volumes to me. Another excellent read, glad to see it!

  • Shawn B

    There’s a ton of truth to this! Drawing used to be a good creative outlet for me.
    I can’t even remember the last time I picked up a pencil to draw anything.. and such a fact saddens me.

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