Inspiration is Optional

Inspiration is Optional >> Life In Limbo

I’ve been sitting in this chair for ten minutes, trying to think of what to write about. I’m breaking my own output before input rule and have already been on Instagram (on my computer), looked at my tasks of the day, and mindlessly explored the website for the upcoming launch I’m a part of. My excuse is that “I just don’t know what to write about! I’m not inspired!”

Lucky for me though, as soon as I thought those words, I had my own number. I couldn’t hide from the facts anymore. Because the truth is that I, and so many other writers, don’t really believe in inspiration. Or rather, they do, but they don’t believe that being inspired is a prerequisite for doing your work. If inspiration shows up somewhere along the way, great! It is very welcome here. But if not? Your butt is in the seat anyways. Your fingers are typing anyways. You’re practicing anyways.

Because that’s the whole point of a writing practice: I am meant to practice writing. The practice of writing requires that I show up, sit down, and start typing. The practice of writing means battling resistance in all its forms, every single day: whether that be in the form of procrastination, feeling “too busy”, or “not being inspired”. The practice of writing means calling bullshit on our excuses and DOING IT ANYWAYS. That’s how we improve, and probably the only way we improve. Writers write.

So I am calling my own bluff this morning: the truth is that I am inspired. Today, I just so happen to be inspired by my lack of inspiration. Tomorrow, who knows? But I do know I’ll be sitting in the same place, typing out some words, whether or not I feel “inspired”.

Or, to make a longer blog post shorter, this quote has always stuck with me:

“I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes at nine every morning.”

–William Faulkner

See you tomorrow!

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