(last edited on September 20, 2014 at 2:24 pm)
One day I was browsing a list of recent additions to 9rules, the blog network I’m a part of that’s organized around the idea of “creating community through quality content”. After reading the first couple dozen sites, I was growing quite exhausted. I guess there IS such thing as “too much good content”; those of you with humongous RSS feeds know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, by the time I got to Equivocality, I was pretty fried, but in just the first few paragraphs of my visit I was rejuvenated. I was again reminded that writing can be more than just a vehicle for ideas…it can be an experience. My ear for language was delighted by every artfully-voiced turn of phrase, and my mind appreciated the masterful-yet-light choice of wording. For a couple hours, I was enchanted by the lyricism of the writing, equally impressed the candor with which the author, Jeff, presents himself to the world.
I was very honored to be asked to participate in an cross-posting experiment between our blogs, as a way of expanding the kind of writing we usually do. We picked INSPIRATION IS EVERYWHERE as the topic, no limits attached. I’m very pleased to present Jeff’s post on the topic here. You can read my take on the subject at Jeff’s site: Equivocality.
[Dave Note: I just looked at Jeff’s post, and wow…he says so much more so much less verbiage…it’s just fantastic. I feel like I can write up the equivalent of a good chicken-fried steak, but Jeff…Jeff knows how to make sushi…]
Inspiration is Everywhere
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. —Jack London
Inspiration is everywhere. It’s true.
The difficult part is finding it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a chef, an athlete, a student, or a barber; you just need to look. Sometimes we get too caught up in our daily routines to recognize it, but there are a couple of things you can do to open your mind.
Buy a camera
You’ll start to see the world in a different way. The positioning of objects in a composition. The play of light in a scene. The subject of focus in the foreground.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy SLR. Many beautiful “happy accidents” have been taken with a Lomo. If you do have an SLR, acquire a macro lens. With a lens that lets you focus so closely, you’ll see things that wouldn’t normally appear, like patterns, materials, and textures. There’s an entire world to be explored that you never knew about, right beneath our fingers. Soon you’ll question what else you’ve been missing, and you’ll be more open to finding it.
Never stop dreaming
Dreaming is what gives us hope. It lets us see things that never were, and helps us think outside of the box. Some of the best ideas come from unconventional dreams.
Sometimes it’s also important to dream of things that can never be accomplished. You’ll be amazed at how far you can get when you strive for that which is just out of reach.
Step out of your comfort zone
You’ll learn things about yourself that you never knew. You’ll discover your strengths and weaknesses. By placing yourself in an uncomfortable situation, you’re forcing yourself to confront that which makes you uncomfortable. If you can grow from this, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish, and you’ll wonder what was ever holding you back.
As humans, we need inspiration. It’s as fundamental as our curiosity. Curiosity is what drives us to explore, but inspiration is what drives us to create.
Take classical composers for example. In a sonata form, the structure comes from one or two ideas. The exposition introduces the motif. With this piece as inspiration, he brings it to a climax in the development, then relieves the tension in the recapitulation. Beautiful, complex, dulcet pieces are created simply by using variations of a couple of notes, building on the foundation of a single musical idea.
You can expand this example to any creative application. A beautiful design may start with something as abstract as a colour. The taste of a meal may come from a memory. With inspiration, our creativity grows. Just remember to keep an open mind.
Inspiration is everywhere, and most often in places you’d never expect.
— Guest post by Jeff at Equivocality.