Creation. That’s one way to describe writing a song. Something out of nothing.
It was a so-called light bulb moment, with flashes of thunder. Everything turning from dark to light, from black to white. And after moments of intense light and energy, comes moments of inaction, stillness, and quiet.
There are times when it feels like making a house, brick by painstaking brick. Making sure the pieces fit, finding what works together, and making sure it all makes sense.
This time, I could feel the electricity flowing through me, and out through my pen onto the paper, as my voice and heart tried to make sense of what I had written down. this time, the pieces just seemed to fit together, and the words and melody just worked. What happened?
It was as if this song wrote itself.
Writing down notes, lyrics and chords as best as I could, I recorded a rough demo of the song so I won’t forget how it will sound and how it goes. Is it catchy enough? Will I remember it a week from now?
I guess that doesn’t really matter at the moment.
Thanks Muse! Thank you for the gift. You didn’t make me work as hard this time, but you still make me work hard for it.
Inspiration is said to be a very fickle thing. Either it’s there or it’s not.
That’s not true however.
Inspiration can be borne from experience and feeling, but it requires hard work, perseverance, an open mind and heart, and self-confidence to give shape and life to it. It requires real effort on our parts to use and make inspiration our ally, otherwise it will just make us feel good, and end up drifting away. Inspiration can be digging deep and connecting to visions, dreams, feelings, and thoughts that can lead to creation.
Inspiration also goes hand in hand with creation and expression, whatever that form may be. To be inspired is a call to create, express, and share. Whether that’s a song, a painting, a building, or a legal document. Create.
Inspiration comes and it goes, and it might never come back again. That specific line, idea, thought, that pops into your head, and you think it was cool? A thought it all it will ever be unless you take steps to capture it, write it down, record it, while you still have it. It doesn’t have to be polished, but what’s important is that you get to keep it. and maybe, come back to it.
I keep a notebook, paper, close by, and even have a notes app on my cellphone, ready to spring into action when needed.
Create art. Whatever your chosen art-form may be. Turn emotions into art. Neil Gaiman, famous author, shared great advice on making art at his 2012 University of the Arts Graduation Commencement Speech:
Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
Make good art.
I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.
Make it on the good days too.
Learn to express yourself. Bit by bit, part by part. Express yourself as honestly and truthfully as you can.
What if there is no feeling of inspiration? Then just get started and work through it to get yourself inspired. Getting started on creating and working, even when the feeling is not necessarily present, actually is a call for the muse to come visit us.
Set for yourself a schedule to write or paint, or to do the activities that bring out the creative you. Block out periods of time for travel and exploration, for creation and expression.
Inspiration is not only a feeling that comes, but is actually a muscle that is nurtured, honed, strengthened, and grown. It is not only to have more larger, longer, deeper, and more productive bouts of inspirational feelings, but to be able to receive and and glean inspiration from a wider variety of feelings, situations, experiences, and thoughts. It’s out there for the taking, we’ve just got to attune ourselves to receive it.
The call to create is also a call to share. This I admit I haven’t learned all that well yet, but to share what you create is, in a way, to give light to others. To give light and inspire others that you don’t need to be an expert to create.
You don’t need credentials to create.
You don’t need a very deep pool of experience to create.
You don’t need a license to create.
Children create stuff all the time. They draw as if they were masters, sing as if they were experts, and dance as if they were professionals.
They don’t have any of the self-imposed limits that adults have. Be as children, and create.
Respect the muse, and it will always be with you.
To ignore it is to drive it away, and it can be very hard to win back.
Respect the Muse, Work Hard, and Create.