That Elusive Inspiration

If you do anything within the realm of creativity, you have probably experienced the rush of inspiration. It’s like gold to the writer, artist, designer, inventor, etc, and can make life a whole lot easier.

The mystery of the whole phenomenon is that you can’t recreate the circumstances, because it occurs in such strange and inexplicable ways. It can strike with the converging of music, weather, time of day, a meal, a piece of clothing, a movie, the way a person moves or speaks, and a million other things. You can’t force it, and it’s different every time to every person.

The spark for The Sum of David came in a split second at a Cirque du Soleil show. I can distinctly remember the visual — a glowing air balloon as it sailed above the crowd — that brought the lightning and possibilities. I can recall the inspiration for the sequel a few months ago — on the bus with a particular song in my earphones and the light, weather, people and construction appearing just right in the city in Pittsburgh.

The catch? Inspiration won’t do the job for you. And it might cause more problems than it solves, at least at first. But if you can uncover how the pieces fit together, it’s worth it. So paint that masterpiece one brush stroke at a time, write that novel (now’s the time, after all) a word, a sentence, a page at a time; conquer the world the way you know how and don’t get discouraged. The spark might come in a rush, but making it into something tangible, something that works, takes time and effort.

On a different, but not unrelated note: I saw the trailer for The Golden Compass last night on television and it pretty much rocked my socks clean off. It’s not the same preview I’ve linked above, but they’re both AWESOME. I regret that it’s got a big, butt-kicking polar bear (since SOD’s got one too, if very briefly), but I still can’t wait to see it. The actors… the voices… the effects… Like I said: AWESOME.