“Inspiration, like puberty, goes away in adulthood.” Peter Murphy
My husband recently told me about a dream he’d had where he thought of an invention that was so good everyone would want one. We would make enough profit to afford that beach house in Duck, NC that I’ve always wanted. But then, he woke up and couldn’t remember what it was!
When I was a kid, I would often awaken in the wee hours inspired to write, and I’d sketch an outline to follow the next day. Invariably, in the morning when I looked at my writing, it would make no sense whatsoever.
Inspiration may get us started; work gets us to completion. John McPhee wrote that every morning he gets up, goes into his office, and ties himself to the chair with the sash of his bathrobe! What is that old saying: “Creativity is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration”? It’s doing the work that unlocks the creative thought.
Sometimes words come easily; sometimes they need to be coaxed; sometimes they need to be dug out from deep in the vein, like a seam of coal. Writing is not a pastime for dilettantes (though, I must admit that sometimes I’m one of those too). Rarely am I “inspired” to write. Rarely do ideas come to me by divine influence. I am a writer who writes–sometimes lovely words, sometimes interesting words, and often just plain throw away trash. But writing I do nonetheless.