in Note To My Sister

Waiting For Inspiration

Waiting for inspiration is probably one of the worst things you can do. There is no guarantee that inspiration will motivate you to take action on what you’ve been stalling on.

I’ll admit, I was stalling on writing today. I completed an entire paragraph only to l feel that my topic wasn’t genuine or interesting. In my opinion it was full of fluff. I was writing just to write. It then made me think – what was it that I was searching for? Why wasn’t I writing? Then the thought crossed my mind, “I don’t feel inspired.” It’s true, I wasn’t feeling inspired. But should we wait to feel inspired to take action? 

I was thinking of a conversation I had a few days ago with a friend. He mentioned, you can’t wait for inspiration. Sometimes you have to force it. I think this relates to the concepts talked about in the book Deep Work by Cal Newport. He wasn’t saying you had to look for inspiration, on the contrary he said you need to enjoy being bored. I think when it comes to being able to concentrate and paint for long periods of time, its often due to the fact that I am bored beyond belief. I enjoy that type of boredom. I enjoy watching the colors blend, layer upon layer to eventually become this other thing – a portrait, abstract painting, a mini story – what ever it ends up being.

As I continue to listen to the book Deep Work, Cal Newport talks about all the other methods people have found to find time to focus and get to a deep concentration. Some people did radical things to get the best results like booking a really long airplane flight to write a book in 34 hours, others batched their work into chunks of hours. Ultimately there is always this battle to fight resistance, distractions – the squirrel brain…

While inspiration can help get some people motivated it can also be paralyzing. You can look at glamorous photos, drawings, perfect bodies (if you are trying to lose weight) – and feel like you’ve accomplished something all without leaving your couch! I believe that’s why when it comes to design work, so many professors that I’ve had asked us not to open a new tab and search for inspiration. We’ve lost touch on learning how to be inspired by the environment we are in or by nature itself.

So while this morning I was feeling unmotivated, I thought a little deeper – I wasn’t sure what else to share about myself in the moment, or what else I am willing to put out there. I am very much still on my journey from here to there, and writing is a part of that journey. I’ve talked about consistently wanting to quit – or at least fighting the urge, needing to write a buffer. I’ve shared a few personal stories – those seem to resonate well as I get personal emails and text messages from people weighing in their responses. I’ve talked a bit about my faith, health, and future goals.

There’s is a little bit of pressure as I know there are a few people waiting  (and silently watching) to come back and read what’s next or what’s new on my blog- or to see if I’ve failed at writing everyday. I think I’d like to introduce a new segment or category…. Advice to my sister.

My sister HATES when I lecture her. We actually had a really nice talk last weekend. I’ve asked her to subscribe today and I hope she does. If not, I’ll have mini notes for her here on my blog.

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