I’ve been thinking about the word ‘inspiration’ lately, and what it really means to people on a deep, personal level. Words are overall a very intriguing subject, because, depending on each person’s own experiences, they mean different things to different people. What ‘inspires’ me does not necessarily ‘inspire’ you.
It’s a double-edged (s)word. It creates a longing in your soul, but sometimes, it also creates an astounding fear of never again feel that sensation. For an artist, lack of inspiration is a nightmare beyond words. That is probably why, as a writer, you learn how to write without inspiration. Write every day. Write at the bus stop. Write on your lunch hour, after you put the kids to bed, or when you’re at the washroom. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you compose words that have some kind of connection to each other— No, erase that last part. As long as they carry a meaning to yourself, it’s all good. The connection can always come later.
My own inspiration changes over time, sometimes over mere minutes. It can be a song, or a beautiful sunset, or a smile, or a meeting between two people – strangers to you – who share something special, and that moment makes you warm and happy in your whole body. You can feel how your eyes brightens, how your lips want to curve upwards, and how the surroundings suddenly are more beautiful than what they were only a few seconds ago.
Right now, inspiration for me is this wonderful musical number from ‘La Cage aux Folles’, about acceptance of yourself – something I have struggled with my whole life. I think I heard it in the nineties, for the first time, and it touched my heart and soul. It was years since I heard it last time, but then, it showed up when I was playing around on YouTube last week. I listened to it, and – BAM – inspiration hit me like a train wreck. Plot threads unlocked, new characters knocked on the door, and new projects are taking form. Life is suddenly full of colour again.