Inspiration is a tide that rises and falls – or is it?

inspiration tide

Original photo by Luis Argerich (adapted by Writer’s Caravan)

The weekend is now drawing to its end. And those “free” days I was looking forward to, hoping to finally get some writing done, well they flew by. And what did I do? I procrastinated, naturally. I waited for inspiration to strike, I waited for motivation. I waited, lazily, destructively, for the four days to be over so I could feel guilty and worthless.

While flipping through an old notebook of mine, I found the following text relating on inspiration. I thought I would share it here because, in some way, my opinion has changed.

We all have our personal routine. Designers, architects, writers, musicians, creative minds – we all have a source to draw from, a source of inspiration that very often changes. As if being creative wasn’t difficult enough, we have to be on a constant look-out for new ideas, for motivation and renewal. We have to maintain our confidence to an unconditionally high level and fiercely believe in ourselves. The creative world is not a science. There is no right or wrong. One day, I think I have the mind of a genius who has just created a revolutionary design; the next, I question every single step I have taken and every single idea I have claimed to be fantastic. The creative world is a yo-yo. It is demanding, challenging and inspiration is always fickle. Some might need a muse less than others – those have the coveted power to turn their imagination on in the blink of an eye and produce fantastic results.

I don’t work like that. Inspiration is a tide that rises and falls. It takes patience and devotion but eventually, thoughts turn into sketches, sketches into models, models into projects and when the time is right, everything falls into place. But of course, rather inevitably, our brains are not as merciful as we want them to be. They love multitasking. One idea is good, but two is better. And thus begins the vicious process of creating. While Project A is going well, project B is slow, unsteady and frustrating. And so to alleviate the situation, Project C comes to life. But instead of taking a break and refocusing the lens, more and more projects keep forming, each poorer than the former, not because of their lack of originality, but because our creativity level reaches a saturation point.

As I read those old words, I feel the need to re-define inspiration. It may be a tide and it may be fickle but I now know that however difficult it is to find it, it only depends on us. If we wait for it to strike, we may wait for a while. If, on the other hand, we sit, focus, and start… the cogs will get moving.

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”, Pablo Picasso


Thanks for reading.
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10 responses to “Inspiration is a tide that rises and falls – or is it?

  1. You took the words right out of my mouth! I’ve been mentally thinking through a post on the same subject for the past week. Love how eloquently you put it, and that quote is gold!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an interesting post. I never thought of inspiration like this previously. I find it comes and goes and, have learned to flow with it. Sometimes, I am inundated with fresh new ideas. Other times, nothing. That’s when I hop on my bike, go for a walk or, take a trip. New surroundings wake me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi again, thanks for reading!
      Yes I have always found inspiration to be like a tide but now that I am striving to be a writer, I notice that in order to be productive and regular, I have to push myself and write anyway and inspiration often ends up tagging along!
      There are definitely ways to help us find inspiration though, I was even thinking to write a post about it soon.
      When I lived by the seafront, my go-to option was cycling along the sea so I completely agree with you there!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like to write. I am not as ambitious as you but, I do write a lot. And, I find much of my inspiration comes from photographs, either ones I take myself or others. I am a photographer by training (sort of) and in recent years have embraced the iPhone camera. I take it everywhere and shoot continually throughout the day. In fact, an idea for a blog post or article often starts with a photograph.


    • That’s a really interesting point. I guess we all find inspiration in the oddest of places, I come up with most of my blog posts while I’m trying to fall asleep. I guess one doesn’t help the other…


  4. Pingback: Six secrets to becoming a Metaphor Master. | A Writer's Caravan·

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