Before starting this post, I gathered my little minions and they all knew what they had to do in order to help me write : my coffee was hot, my cigarettes were more than plenty, and my jazz track-list was two hours long. I don’t need two hours to write a post, but I do like to stare at the screen every ten minutes, to enjoy the blank inside my head. I didn’t make this introduction for nothing and the reason for doing it is because I want to open the Pandora box, also known as Inspiration.
There comes a moment in every artist’s life when he doesn’t know ( here is where I stopped for ten minutes to stare ) which way to go. We don’t have a secret formula, otherwise the creating process would be so simple and we all know there’s no art without struggle. We might even need to create when we’re not feeling inspired, it’s not like working in a bank for instance, I never heard anyone saying ” Oh, you know what ? Today I am not in the mood to open new bank accounts,” because we are not meant to be mechanical. And if we can’t find the inspiration, we create it.
Because I am not a selfish person, I will explain my ways and offer examples from my personal life. At one point, when working on my book, I was telling my friend that I didn’t know what I wrote, it felt like small talk, like my brain wasn’t even there. He answered something like this ” Sometimes, when we feel like we’re not doing a great job, and it seems boring, without a purpose, that’s when we might have created a great thing”. I didn’t believe that, of course, until I read what I wrote. He was right, without even noticing, I took a big step in my book, changed things in a subtle but important way.
The thing I learned that night is that I didn’t have to try to be amazing, it was just a matter of time, actually. The moment you start typing, or holding a brush, or even a guitar, doesn’t matter, you will know what to do. And it doesn’t have to feel like the Holy Spirit came upon you, even boring people have a glimpse of imagination once in a while, what makes you think that you, as an artist, can’t do it ? It’s like the tango, like riding a bike, like eating, even like making love. You are working with your greatest tool : yourself.
But even if we’re in charge of our sources, we still need some things that ordinary people can’t take away from us. I can’t write without jazz or with people around me, others can’t do it during the day, or during the night, some might need a spot in the nature to do it, others could settle for just an open window and a desk and many others need to drink or get high. It’s like sharing a secret that’s not meant to be shared yet, you still need to find the courage to do it.
Sit somewhere. Find your courage and after you do that, start telling everyone how amazing you are, you don’t have to be narcissistic about your art, you just have to let it happen and others will see that. It sounds like a hard job, but why would you deny yourself the pleasure of finding out that you can be great even when you don’t think you are? And trust me, you are. Start whenever and never stop. The true power of an artists is held by those who support him, this is how we feed. So don’t starve yourself.