The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is "inspiration," in honor of the website's almost-anniversary. Now, inspiration is a funny thing. I believe in it, but I don't rely on it. It's like luck: great when it comes calling, but not exactly reliable. Better you become your own muse than wait for that fickle creature to show up late and possibly drunk from partying with some hipper, cooler artist! My current email sign-off quote is:
That's the secret. Tell everyone.
That's not to say that you don't need to be passionate about your work, filled with awe, swooning with it! This isn't some cubicle where you come to fill out forms! You need to have a fire burning in your mind! But you need to light that fire, and keep it burning. You. Just you. Read, travel, read, go for walks, watch documentaries, read, fall in love with stuff and facts and sights and strangers and places you've never been and might never go, read, stuff your head with the marvels of the world. It's all you. If you don't do it, someone else will. Maybe not as well, possibly better. Surely, differently.
For me, Sundays Scribblings was part of a plan to write more, and it has worked. I've written more stories in the past year than in the five previous years combined. Funny how it works, too. Sometimes you read a prompt and it immediately sparks an idea in you. The second scribble ever was one of Megg's prompts and it was "real life." Almost as soon as I read it an idea for a strange fiction popped into my head and I wrote it and loved it and subsequently turned it into a novella. Yay, me! So, there was what you might call a spark of inspiration in the beginning, an idea leaping in the darkness, but after that, it was work.
Is inspiration for sissies? Nah, I just wrote that because it sounded kinda catchy. I would say that waiting around for inspiration like it's a bus that might or might not come, that's for sissies. Just start walking. The bus still might come, and if it doesn't you'll get there anyway. With sweaty feet and blisters, but you'll get there.