Inspiration – Where Does It Come From?

I’m inspired today.  Does that mean I woke up from a dream that gave me a great idea that I just had to jot down?  Nope.  Did I read something amazing that inspired me to be a better writer? Wrong again.  Although both of those things occasionally happen, it’s not the norm.  Most mornings I wake up and it’s a marathon to get the kids up and dressed and off to school.  Then I come home and there’s a mountain of work for me here too.

Even though I’m home all day, there are a million things that take up my time.  Cleaning, cooking, running errands, volunteering for the kids’ endless activities, third grade division homework – it’s a wonder some days that I have time to shower (some days I don’t bother – shh).  I could easily go days or even weeks without making time to write.  But that is exactly what I have to do.  I have to make time to write.  I have to sit down at the keyboard and decide to write whether I’m inspired or not.  And most of the time it’s not.  I might feel like crap, I have my mind on other things, or I might feel self conscious and think I’m wasting my time trying to be a writer.

But a funny thing happens when I sit down and make myself write.  My fingers fly across the keyboard and a story begins to flow.  Sometimes it’s magical, but most of the time it’s a lot of crap with some good stuff thrown in.  But that’s what the delete key is for.  And that crap is helpful, it gets you moving and helps fertilize your mind for the brilliant ideas that come next.  Amazing things happen when you feed your art.  On that note, there is a book you should check out.  It’s called The Artist’s Way, and it’s a little cheesy but it’s about feeding your creativity.  It can help you to become a better artist or even just to add more creativity to your daily life.

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Creativity – the new Antidepressant?

I tend towards depression, always have.  It’s not surprising, I have a chronic illness (Crohn’s disease) and a lot of the medication I take causes depression.  In addition, when I’m in pain, I’m depressed.  But we all deal with depression in some form or fashion in our lives.  Whether it’s after a tragedy, during a difficult time in our lives, after a setback or failure, or even simply a blue day because of the weather.

I take medication for depression, but I’ve learned that there is one surefire way for me to deal with the blues – to write.  On days where I spend time writing, adding pages and chapters to a current book, or rewriting what I’ve already written, I have a general feeling of well being.  I feel balanced and in control.  I’m more patient with my children and husband, and I’m more likely to get things done around the house.  On the other hand, if I ignored my writing, I’m cranky and short with everyone.  I go to bed feeling like I got nothing accomplished, even if I cleaned the house or finished a to do list.

Writing has become necessary to me.  It’s my lifeblood, it’s my passion.  It lifts me up and makes me a better person.  This seems to ring true for a lot of creative people I know.  What is your passion?  Do you feel better after an afternoon creating?  Do you feel like you’ve accomplished something?  If so, we may have discovered a way to get us through the cold months of winter, when tempers are short and moods are low.

Comment and tell me how you fight the blues.  Or about a time when you fought depression and won.  Are you fighting depression now?  Message me, I’ve been there.