I wonder how many of us are not doing things we love simply because we’re waiting for inspiration to hit. After all, why bother doing something if it’s not going to be fantastic?
Waiting for inspiration is precisely why my writing has been sporadic over the past year. When I’m hit with inspiration, the thoughts and ideas come so fast I can hardly jot them down. I can sit down and write pages upon pages in no time at all. Yet sadly for me, for a good part of the past year, my inspiration has been in hibernation, sticking it’s nose out every once in a while and then quickly retreating when it decides that the host environment is not welcoming enough.
Writing doesn’t always flow. Yet without consistency, it gets harder not easier, to find the inspiration and to find the words to express that inspiration.
The same goes for my photography. I’m part of a photo community called 52 Frames. Each week we have a different theme and need to shoot and submit a photo within that week. I’ve been consistent for 57 weeks which means I’ve submitted a photo 57 weeks in a row. However, within that consistency I’ve been inconsistent. When I started out I was shooting way more pictures a week, letting my “doing” guide my inspiration. I don’t know why, but more recently I’ve been letting my thinking guide my doing. The result? More pressure, less pleasure with the craft and not necessarily better photographs.
Which got me to thinking, what’s really holding me back?
I think that waiting for inspiration is an expression of fear, more specifically, fear of failure. If I’m not inspired how can I possibly produce anything worthwhile? If I put myself out there and share something that I think is substandard, I’m exposing myself to the possibility that the reactions might not be positive.
So basically, at least for me, waiting for inspiration seems to be fear of negative reactions. That has to be the stupidest thing in the world. There’s not a single thing in this world that I can create, say or do that will ever get unanimous approval from everyone. Yet I’m letting it hold me back from doing something I enjoy and love.
I’m slowly beginning to internalize that consistency, effort and practice are more important than inspiration in the creative process. When you put yourself out there and start doing, somehow the inspiration also starts to flow.