57 - Inspiration comes from the work

Hello and welcome to episode 57 of The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. The weekly podcast where one week we interview creative people from various disciplines and career levels and the next week we offer insight and inspiration into the creative process. 

This week is insight and inspiration. I’m your host, Tucker and in this episode we discuss how Inspiration Comes From The Work. Plus I offer a challenge for you in the questions section. Let’s get started...

I like this quote:

"I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning."

—William Faulkner

You can never really tell on the internet who is actually being quoted but according to QuoteInvestigator.com it’s most likely William Faulkner.

I can tell you for certain though who said this quote:

“I put myself in a world and I look for melodies in what would come out of that world.” - Maxime Goulet

It was Maxime Goulet from our last episode. The reason these two quotes are similar is that I asked Maxime how he noted his melodic ideas.  I wanted to know if he hand wrote them in musical notation in a little notebook or sang them into a voice recorder or some other thing. What he said was that he didn’t really have musical ideas outside of working on music. In order to find the themes and melodies he had to sit down and think about what it was he was working on. I kind of imagined a classical composer just walked around with music in their head all the time and the challenge would be choosing which piece to work on first. Not the case. All of Maxime’s music came from sitting down and very purposefully making music. 

If you haven’t read The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield I’d recommend it whole-heartedly and not in a hole-hearted sense like Extreme sang about in the '90s. I mean with my whole-heart I want you to read the book The War Of Art. In the book Mr. Pressfield talks about his process for writing his books. He sits down in the same chair, in the same office, at the same time everyday, says the same prayer to his Muses and starts to write. He writes until he starts to makes too many typos, then he knows he’s done for the day. Everyday he writes.

There is this romantic notion about art where it comes like lightning to your heart, your eyes glow and the art just sprays out of your hands like you are some sort of wand of the goddesses or something. The truth is the times when that happens is when you’ve been working your hardest. You’ve been going and focussed for a while and there is nothing else in the world but you and your creation. It certainly can feel like your hands are spreading the divine will of the universe out into the world. Time feels like it isn’t really a thing you can be working and all of a sudden two, four, eight hours have passed and you realize your leg is bouncing ‘cause you need to pee so bad and your eyes are dry and you’re smiling and exhausted at the same time. You can’t remember your name or how you possibly did what you just did. Before those times happen though you have to sit yourself down and stare at the  blank thing you are trying to fill. You have to fight to not check twitter or think about the show you want to watch or whether or not your inbox needs sorting. You have to make yourself do the work. You have to teach yourself what your art feels like when it’s working.

Because inspiration doesn’t come from anywhere but inside you. Inspiration doesn’t come from the sky. Inspiration comes from the work. 

Here’s where you get to do some thinking

  • Have you been waiting for inspiration to strike before you start your project? 
  • How long have you been waiting? 
  • Are you scared your work will be worse off for forcing it? 
  • Could you challenge yourself to just set a time and do the work for say ... one week? 
  • Can you find the same hour or two each day to do your work? 
  • When do you do your best work. Morning? Evening? 
  • Will you be happy just thinking about your projects?
  • How much happier will you be when you are actually doing it?
  • How happy will you be when you have something done? 

If you decide to take the single week project challenge let me know on twitter @sh_tucker, I’d love to hear how it goes. Remember, accountability is important so if you let me know you are doing it you are more likely to actually do work each day. Also, I can be there to encourage you along the way if you need. If you have a friend you’d like to encourage to start their work so they can find their inspiration you can send them this episode. The easiest way is to share the url TheSparkAndTheArt.com/57

Thanks to everyone who has left reviews on iTunes it really helps keep me going but it also helps others find the podcast. Hopefully they too can get a little inspiration to either get started or get finished on something they care about. Also, don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes that way the new episode will automatically land in your favourite podcast listening device each week. The first review I received was from Willie McCrae of the UK he wrote “Tucker brings in interesting guests and asks thoughtful questions. His style is laid back but I am always left feeling inspired and motivated. Recommended for anyone who has the urge to create something” Thanks Willie. I really appreciate it. A few people have describe me as having a laid-back style. I’ve tried to up-beatify it but it always comes off like a morning radio DJ. So I’m just me and hope that’s enough. 

Thanks for listening and remember you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark. 

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