Updated: Feb 16, 2019
What inspires you to create? Do you have a muse or source of inspiration that you rely on to propel you to write, or dance, or compose, or paint?
While fumbling around the blogging world for the past decade plus, and trying to improve my skill as a writer, I eventually stumbled across my muse. Well, less my muse, and more my process. Want to know my secret?
I take a bunch of pictures, find one that speaks to me, place it at the top of the draft of my blog post, and start writing.
That's it. Every picture tells a story and every story paints a picture. And sometimes, for me, the combination is simply magic. Like this post, which was spontaneous and unedited. The post was fully inspired by a photograph that I took when my daughters and I released ladybugs into our butterfly garden. (Side note - ladybugs eat aphids. And you can buy them on Amazon!)
Here's the downside to this process. You can take a LOT of pictures and only get one or two that really move you. Sometimes you get none. Like yesterday.
Yesterday should have been a gold mine of inspirational photos. I took my daughters and their bestie to the beach for the day. The sky was brilliant blue, the ocean flat and glistening in the sun, boats floated lazily on the horizon, and the girls splashed and laughed and chased fish along the shoreline for hours.
I took 35 pictures, which, granted, was probably not enough. But the sun was high and bright in the sky and I just couldn't get the exposure right. Plus it was hot and I wanted to play in the water, not fool with my camera in the blinding glare.
I took a few pictures:
Beach chair by the water.
Goggles in the sand.
Dark clouds in the background.
Then I put the camera down and let myself off the hook. "Go. Play. Be present," I told myself. So I did. And I had a blast.
Not every photo shoot is going to produce that breath-taking image you envisioned. Not every blog post is going to be worthy of someone's time to comment or click "like." Not every painting will be your masterpiece. This truth used to be my biggest mental block when it came to creativity. Because the artist in me has always been bullied and nagged and shot down by the perfectionist sharing space in my head.
I am finding what is more important, though, is to show up. Inspiration may or may not make an appearance, but that is not your problem. Take the pictures. Write the words. Trust the process. Not every hit will be a homer, but once in a while you will, undoubtedly, knock one out of the park.