I’m Getting a Divorce from Inspiration

The more that I have given myself to writing and my creative ventures, the more I realize that inspiration is a fucking myth.

Context: I had a moment last month where I realized all of August had gone to shit all because I wasn’t inspired and didn’t have a muse, I stumbled through my goals the entire month. So, in an effort to combat the failures of last month I decided to set intentions, make clear goals, and plan out the way that I wanted to tackle this month. I started the month off well but quickly realized that the more that I decided to prioritize my intentions the less inspired I was feeling and the more stuck I was becoming.

On Saturday, I had a small moment of breakthrough and found inspiration for all of four hours, and then over the next few days, I struggled to muster up some morsel of inspiration to carry me through to the next week. This led me to binge watch American Horror Story, which, yes, I know, I’m late to the party, and devote the rest of my time to cleaning and yoga. Not entirely the worst combo, but not the productive combo that I wanted for September. After two days of struggle, I woke up and looked around my room at all of my half-finished projects and realized that inspiration wasn’t going to come, in fact, it was the problem.

To all my creatives, especially the ones in the back row, get off your ass and start creating something, because inspiration will not sustain you. In fact, it is sort of the enemy, because it makes you believe that you have to rely on it in order to create work that is meaningful, but that is a lie. You give your work meaning, not inspiration. The idea of waiting for a muse to step in and inspire you to create that one piece of work that will make you a success is unrealistic—it doesn’t happen that way. In fact, if you were to research people, artists, or musicians, who have claimed that their success came from a single moment or source of inspiration, you will find maybe a handful, but the majority of creative success is through hard work, dedication to craft, and constantly reaching. not inspiration.

Your creativity requires immediate action, not overthinking, not a moment of inspiration, not a muse, but immediate action every day—because action is the driving force of inspiration, not the other way around. If you wait for inspiration you will wait for days, weeks, months, but if you just take a step every time you feel stuck, eventually you will break through.

As motivational and potentially woo-woo as this sounds, just smudge your house or do a dance or get up and shake it out the next time you feel stuck. Literally, gyrate on your floor if you have to, but get up, get moving, and get to work. Then, every time you feel stuck, reach out to me and I’ll slap you in the face hopefully encouraging you to wake the ‘f’ up because inspiration isn’t going to sustain you, action is.

Have you struggled with feeling stuck because of inspiration? What were the ways that you got out of it? I’m curious to see if anyone else is like me and needs to dance it out in order to continue working through the shit that I need to work on. My sister works out, I dance, and everyone else I know just gets back to work. Maybe my dancing is another distraction keeping me from my goal?

Fuck.