“I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes at nine every morning.”
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Inspiration is a cruel master. It pushes us to create. It tells us what to work on. It dictates what we do.
The problem often lies in when inspiration strikes. It is a great giver, but it is also a fickle master. You can’t summon inspiration on command.
That’s why many of us have trouble coming up with our next great idea. We will spend countless hours wracking our brains for the next great idea but still come up empty handed. This brute force tactic rarely works.
You know what does work? Creating consistently and building good habits. I know what you may be thinking. You like being an artist because you are free to create whatever you want whenever you want to. You hate restrictions. You like the freedoms being an artist affords you. But this way of thinking only leads to more frustration.
The key to building a great creative practice is to build a habit around it.
Let’s take a quick look at that quote again. “I only write when inspiration strikes.” That sounds like many of us who like to create on command. But the second part of the quote is key. “Fortunately it strikes at nine every morning.” This seems contrary to the first statement, but it isn’t. It speaks to the fact that you can’t just pull inspiration out of thin air. Inspiration comes when you build a habit and schedule around creating.
You know a saying has merit when you can’t attribute it to a single person. In the case of this quote, it has been attributed to at least six people including William Faulkner.
These people all believed in the consistently working on your craft, whether you want to or not. They believe it is important to keep a schedule instead of waiting for inspiration to strike.
If you constantly rely on inspiration to create, you won’t create much. That’s why building a consistent habit is so important.
The time you choose to create is not important. You can start right when you wake up or right before you go to sleep. What matters is that you stick to the same time and make it a part of your daily routine.
Stop waiting for inspiration to hit. Build a habit around your creative process and inspiration will find you.