What's the recipe for inspiration? As with the quest for the perfect apple pie, it seems everyone has a unique answer. Maybe it’s a time of day with a certain beverage, or a location plus the right companion. Perhaps it’s a combination of your favorite pen and notebook, with the right album on repeat. Or maybe, your inspiration is found in a long walk or shower.
Inspiration, move me brightly
- Grateful Dead, “Terrapin Station”
I'm grateful when inspiration strikes, but wouldn't be opposed to it arriving at more predictable intervals. There are a few music artists that work well for me, namely Sigur Rós and Warpaint. I find coffee shops can be a nice boost, but I never know where that line is between energizing bustle and distraction. Walks actually don't spark new thoughts for some reason. I wish they did.
My trustworthy solution is the evening shower. It's amazing how often I'm stumped by something, sometimes for hours, and then within minutes of stepping into the shower, worried I'll forget the glut of ideas in my head.
Drifting to sleep, though, is the time I enjoy the most. The mind wanders unrestrained and dots are connected, sometimes brilliantly, other times absurdly. Soon I'm reaching for paper to drowsily sketch or write down an idea. Those are always entertaining in the light of day.
Sometimes the perfect tool at the perfect location at the perfect time of day results in... nothing. Those frustrating experiences do serve a purpose, though. They remind us to look for new recipes and fresh ingredients, and they help us appreciate moments of creativity and revelation even more.
Of course, deadlines are another source of inspiration, which is one of the reasons you're reading this right now :)
Be certain of this: When honest love speaks, when true admiration begins, when excitement rises, when hate curls like smoke, you need never doubt that creativity will stay with you for a lifetime.
- Ray Bradbury, "How to Keep and Feed a Muse"