Image via TwistedSifter.com
I’m pretty sure Jack London knew a thing or two about inspiration. In his books are the stuff boys and men daydream about… man’s man stuff. You can’t have a career writing that kind of stuff without inspiration.
Yet he said “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”
So much for any hope of validation for feeling sorry for yourself because you’re stuck. Yeah, I know what that feels like. Apparently Jack knew it too. And yet he advises the use of a club, as if to tell us a secret. His secret, and secret of all great and successful artists is this: you will have to relentlessly pursue inspiration all the days of your creative life. Sometimes it will be easier to find than others, but we must go after it and beat it down regularly.
Inspiration likes to hide. It’s a little game it plays with us. I think somehow it takes joy in being invisible, like the “hider” in hide and seek.
This concept isn’t easily understood by corporate types, whether they be bosses or clients. They think somehow we have a magic inspiration machine on the inside of us that causes the right idea to come whenever demanded. But you and I both know… it’s not that easy.
There are workarounds to this problem.
I like to store inspiration for moments when I will need them, Evernote being my shoebox of inspiration. I set aside times to hunt for things that inspire me and save them for the proverbial rainy days when I desperately need them. I use cameras, web links, voice memos and really, anything handy to capture the moments of inspiration for later visitation. I guess they are my club.
Storing inspired ideas is such a key for me. It probably will be for you too.
I guess we’re kind of like our forefathers: hunter-gatherers. The difference is we hunt and gather inspiration.
Don’t give up the hunt. Gather your clubs and have them handy. Go for it.
May you not only find inspiration, may you capture it and make it wait for the time you need it.
Just curious: what are your weapons of choice for hunting inspiration?