Don’t wait for inspiration

published 6-8-2014

Don’t wait for inspiration

In order to come up with new ideas, you need inspiration. Inspiration is a kind of energy that nourishes your creative spirit. When you are inspired, it seems like everything is streaming. You feel energetic, you get all kinds of future plans, your thoughts flow and one after the other idea pops up in your mind. Your creative fire is burning! If you don’t feel inspired but still have to perform creatively, frustration is lurking. You feel blocked. You cannot meet the challenges.

The composer Arvo Pärt had to wait years for inspiration. He called it his creative silence. But when inspiration came, he could write beautiful compositions in a short period.

That is the character of inspiration. Inspiration is a gift that you never know when it comes. That can be painful, if you desperately need it, and it is not there. Leonard Bernstein, composer (The West Side Story) conductor and writer said: “Inspiration is wonderful when it happens but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.

So, what could be the approach? One strategy is to bring you in those situations where the chances are big, that you get inspired. Inspiration can come from anywhere. A visit to the cinema, museum, zoo or a concert. For me the visit to a museum always works. Last year, I have got a few of my best ideas wandering in the endless rooms of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. When visiting the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands, two weeks ago, I almost completely filled the little idea book, I always carry with me.

For others, the peace and tranquility of a monastery or nature is the best way to receive inspirationh. The 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. So he made his daily walks.

Do you know what works for you? This is self-knowledge that can only be obtained by observing. What are the circumstances when you feel the flow of inspiration? Be a keen observer when it happens. What are you doing? Which hour of the day is it? Are you alone or with others? Even ask youself: What have I eaten? I have found out that I feel myself more streaming,when avoiding carbs.

Inspiration does not come with the push of button, but we can prepare ourselves to receive it. And when it comes, it’s one the most precious gifts of our life.

Jeff Gaspersz