may think inspiration comes from the outside in, a lightning bolt of an idea
that waits in the heavens and then – Ka Pow! Our brilliance shines in all its
if inspiration lived completely within you and all it would take for you to write
(paint, photograph, sing, stitch, whatever your chosen medium) is to tap
into its power at any time?
Today, a story of how I do exactly that using photography and writing.
My hope is you will learn and feel moved to try something similar for yourself.
My friend, Victor, and I were in the midst of a conversation about motivation and inspiration yesterday. We were talking about feeling it and not feeling it and what our responses were, either way.
I told him about my recent journey from Bakersfield to Corona del Mar and back again in one day for my Uncle’s funeral. It felt different, that day, because I didn’t feel compelled at all to pull my notebook from my backpack and catalog my experience with words. “It was different,” I noted without further reflection or judgment.
I added, almost absently, “I did take a lot of photos, though.”
I took a quiet breath. “It was something, taking photos.” My words sounded almost like an apology.
I turned the conversational attention to my friend.
“What about you?” I asked. “What have you photographed lately?”
“Not a thing,” he answered. “Nothing has interested me.”
I coughed, gagged and sputtered. I heard some version of a vocalized “What?!” burst from deep in my lungs.
He asked me a question, “What am I going to photograph here in Podunk USA?”
I was speechless, absolutely speechless. Victor has taught me so much about making forward progress no matter where I am, my dear friend who right now was saying there is nothing to photograph in his version of Podunk USA which is very similar to my version of Podunk USA.
Victor’s lack of inspiration right where he was, Podunk or not, shocked me right into wordlessness.
I decided to take a slightly different angle to our conversation.
“Remember how you have complimented me for having a great eye in my photos?” I asked him.
He nodded yes. I asked another question.
“How do you suppose I developed what you describe as ‘a great eye’?”
There was a pause.
“You take a lot of pictures.” Victor responded.
“Yes, I take a lot of pictures. Every day I take pictures. Here, in Bakersfield in MY Podunk, USA”
I paused again. “Every day.”
Every day I take photos of aspects of life I find interesting because I choose to find the images right in front of me interesting. Yes, I choose to be interested in objects which may not be notable to anyone else but me.
I want to live a fully engaged life so I choose to be engaged with whatever is in front of me. It is so simple.
That’s what living a creative lifestyle is about, it is about an invitation to become more fully engaged in your life.
What will you choose to be interested in today?
During the train trip to attend my Uncle’s funeral, I chose to be interested architectural elements. I was drawn to cornices, archways, doorways, the tiles in benches and walls. I choose to be interested in changing perspectives, in looking from the undersides, in noticing how the changing light changes how I see and experience things.
I chose to get right up against things, to let my lense get microscopically close to a subject.
I chose to engage wonder about the bark on the palm tree in my front yard and then turn to engage in the wonder of the bark on the palm tree in my backyard, which is different than the bark on the front palm. I choose to engage wonder with the spider web, the leaves on the mulberry tree, the window sill the spider web is woven upon, the movement of the sun throughout the day and throughout the seasons.
It is in these moments when I notice the beauty around me. It looks no different than when it did before only now I am in a relationship with it. I have conscious acted in order to change “uninteresting” to “very interesting in my version of Podunk, USA.
This is when inspiration cracks open inside of me. I allow myself to be devoted to seeing in a new way without being attached to “being inspired” – believing I need inspiration in order to crack open creativity and instead, allow inspiration to be cracked open through the devoted actions I take.
My devoted, conscious action invites inspiration to crack open within me.
I invited inspiration to come in and as always, inspiration didn’t fail me.
Remember this message: I didn’t wait for inspiration to be there. Instead, I invited it to join me and consciously acted in a space and attitude of wonder, of gratitude, of engagement.
You don’t have to wait for inspiration, either. You can choose to crack it open inside of you by engaging with life right in front of you, right there, right now.
Inspiration is right there, exactly where you are, exactly as you are in an infinite number of forms and images.
Look around your space right now, with a renewed sense of wonder.
What do you see? Smell? Feel? Hope? Wish?
Take what you see, smell, feel, hope, wish and wrap it up in a creative adventure with words or photos or song or prayer or sketch.
Crack yourself open to the inspiration all around you right now.
This post is Number three of 30 and was inspired by the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Throughout the month I will be posting writing tips especially to make your writing (and your writing experience!) better.
I'm so glad you are here!@JulieJordanScot
Be sure to "Like" WritingCampwithJJS on Facebook. (Thank you!)on Pinterest, too!