1.01.2019

Hashtag Not Inspired

I was going to start off this post doing that thing where you take a word and you put the dictionary definition of the word in funky font to make it look to the reader as though they are reading form the dictionary. Complete with schwa e and all that fun stuff.

But, I thought better of it at some point. I’m still going to get all up into the word I’m writing on, but I’m going to go ahead and do it without gimmicks. It’s the first day of the new year, so I figure it’s best to just be me. The real, the raw, the cunning scamp you have all come to know and love. Or at the very least that you have found interesting enough to come back to this site from time to time.

I’ve read in places that the blog is dead and that Newsletters are where it’s at. And that’s likely true. And that’s OK. If it is true, then this place will get less attention and I can be more real and honest within it’s walls of ones and zeroes.

So what is this mystery word, Todd?

I’m so glad you asked.

Inspiration.

There. That’s it. Inspiration. I find that it’s peppered throughout my life way more than I really ever noticed before. And maybe that’s not true. Maybe it’s not that there is more of it lately, but maybe it’s that I’m more receptive to it.

Part of me thinks that’s dangerous. Inspiration in itself is not dangerous. I appreciate it. And perhaps that’s a better word for it, appreciation. But if I come to rely on it, to depend on it to propel me into action, then I’m good and truly fucked. If you asked me what inspired me during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those of you not masochistic enough to participate), I would have been hard pressed to answer honestly. I would have spouted the response of so and so inspiring me because wow, look at their word count. But I wasn’t feeling that. And dammit, I really wanted  to be inspired. I was waiting for it. Waiting for the cerebral lightning shot down from the Muses into my brain bucket so I could put those perfect words on the paper.

That’s just it, though, isn’t it. I was counting on it. And counting on inspiration to lead you to the work often leads to the work not actually getting done. At All.

And it didn’t. I didn’t write shit in November. MAYBE 3000 words on my project total. Maybe more. I don’t remember. I’m not going back and looking, because at the end of the day, I can’t go back.  So, I can only move forward.

What inspires me these days?

Nothing.

And everything.

I know, it’s cryptic. And if you have known me for any length of time, you will understand that in my mind, this makes absolute perfect sense.

Nothing inspires me. And by that I mean that I have come to realize that the things I find inspiration in are things that I have come to appreciate with each passing day. They are things I am thankful for in my life.  They are nuggets that I pick up on Twitter or Instagram from authors, friends, people I know, and people I would like to get to know. When I say that these things don’t inspire me, though, what I mean is that they don’t move me to action.

I used to think they did. I used to see a tweet by Gaiman and think holyshit, that’s awesome. I need to go write now! And I would go write. Or I’d see friends putting out books and that would push me to back in front of the keyboard with the sinking realization that I wasn’t going to fulfill my writing dream if I didn’t actually continually write.Or write on a somewhat consistent basis.

What I didn’t see until recently was there was a middle step there. None of things in themselves inspired me to act. They just stoked the flames. I had to still do the work. And this hit me one Sunday afternoon in December where I was as inspired as I think I have been in quite some time. I think it was something I saw on Facebook about what a friend and fellow author had achieved and I was super pumped. I had visions of riding the NYT Bestseller list right alonside them.

Three hours later, I was still on Facebook. Clearly I had just cracked the code. There was no causality (for me) between inspiration and action.

I have to say this was liberating. For many reasons.The main one being that I finally realized that I no longer had to wait for inspiration to strike for me to actually do the dirty work of writing. Holy crap, you mean I can just sit down and write without the Muses giving me mental handies? Seems so.

Fine, so nothing inspires me (to act).

Cool. So, how then does everything inspire you?

Good question. Simple answer. Everything is connected. And by taking the time to be present, in this exact moment, I can see the beauty in everything around me. I can see the hand of a creative presence in everything. In an argument. In a shitty Spongebob episode. Everything.

Don’t get freaked out on me. I’m not anywhere close to being enlightened, and if I were, the very act of thinking that I was would simply mean that I wasn’t yet. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I can see things fitting together. And sometimes I really am just blown away by the series of events that had to happen just so in order for the me sitting here typing this blog post on an iPad was actually able to get this to you.

So, nothing and everything. And I can actually write without needing to have the inspiration. It helps, sure, but it’s not the key.

The key is writing.

And I think starting off 2019 with that particular nugget of knowledge restored is a very good headspace to be in.

Until tomorrow,
-AT


PS, not that I will necessarily be posting a blog post tomorrow, but I might be. In either event, I will be writing, as I have a goal of having a word count on each day on the calendar in January. We’ll see how it goes.

Have an awesome sauce evening my friends!



























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