Don’t Wait For The Muse (A Cynical Pep Talk)

2014 Artwork Don't Wait For The Muse

Sometimes, I feel uninspired. Sometimes, you probably feel uninspired too.

When you’re feeling uninspired, it’s very easy to do nothing.

Sometimes this works. Sometimes you just need to chill out and do something mindless (for me, it’s usually playing various “Doom II” mods – yes, I’m a retro gamer) until a good idea finally appears. This can work. But, what if it doesn’t?

Well, in that case, one of the best things to do is to try to make something. Yes, I know, you’re feeling uninspired and don’t know what to make. Still, try to write, compose, paint, draw etc… something.

It doesn’t matter what it is or how good it is, the important thing is to make something.

Even if it’s the worst or most unoriginal thing that you’ve ever made – make it.

Even if it’s a slightly improved or altered copy of something you’ve already made – make it.

Even if it ends up being unfinished – make it.

The reason why this is a good idea, and not just a depressing waste of time, is that it helps you to practice the act of creating things. It helps you to remind yourself, on a subconscious level, that you are a writer, an artist, a musician, a programmer or whatever.

Yes, you might have produced something crappy, but you’ve produced something.

Once you’ve produced something, it’s a little bit harder to feel uninspired and unproductive. After all, you’ve probably got a piece of contradictory evidence right in front of you. Yes, it might be a low-quality piece of contradictory evidence, but it’s enough to prove that you’re still capable of producing whatever it is that you produce.

Yes, it still might make you feel like your work has declined in quality – and this may well be true, but it’s only temporary.

Occasional dips in quality happen to literally every creative person. The only reason why it might not seem that way is because many famous and prestigious creative people are very selective and very rarely publish any low-quality work that they produce.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t produce crap every now and then, it’s just that they usually keep it hidden – giving the impression to everyone else that they only produce great things. No-one can produce amazing things literally all of the time. Everyone has “off” days, weeks or months.

So, when one of these “dry spells” of inspiration or quality strikes, push through it. Keep churning out crap. Keep making unimaginative and terrible things. Keep going.

Yes, it might not feel great, but it’s about a hundred times better than doing nothing. Yes, you can find positive or dramatic ways to think about doing nothing (and, god knows, the uninspired writer seems to be a recurring character in quite a few novels and films). But you’re still doing nothing.

And, when you’re uninspired, doing something is better than doing nothing. When you’re doing something, there is at least the possibility of making something good. Plus, as I mentioned earlier – if you’re doing something, then you will still feel like you’re a writer, artist etc….

If you’re doing nothing, then you won’t feel like a creative person and there is no possibility of producing anything good right now. Yes, you might get lucky and inspiration might strike after doing nothing for a while – but, how long are you willing to wait?

And, more to the point, do you really want to be at the mercy of some inexplicable “muse” that gives you good ideas whenever they deign to?

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Anyway, I hope that this was inspirational 🙂

(In case you were wondering – yes, I wrote this primarily for myself LOL!)

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One comment on “Don’t Wait For The Muse (A Cynical Pep Talk)

  1. […] Your Story” – “Multiple Choice: What Is Your Favourite Type Of Horror Fiction?” – “Don’t Wait For The Muse (A Cynical Pep Talk)” – “One Quick Trick For Quick Art” – “Show, Don’t Tell” – “Why […]

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