Inspiration Can be its Own Burden

James - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity

I believe inspiration can be its own burden.

Every so often I find myself in a creative mood. Sometimes I draw and pretend I will spend my free time being an artist. Other times I convince myself that I am fully capable of pouring every ounce of free energy into the art and craft of playing music. Or, as I’m writing this, there is the ever-popular, “I bet I can write some really great poem/novel/screen play.”

It brings intentions to mind. More specifically, it brings emotionally fueled intentions to mind. When feeling creative I spout off all kinds of things I could do. And how true, I could do them. But what is the likelihood the promises I make to myself might actually work out in some divinely inspired way; that I may be the next Michelangelo, the fifth Beatle, or the poet who can describe the feelings of an entire people.

The possibility that the stiff breeze of inspiration will be to my back as I ride through life seems less and less credible throughout every revolution of the creative process.

• Strike inspiration

• Make it my life’s work

• Lose steam and go back to what I was doing before – nothing nearly as exciting

• A horrible feeling of inadequacy

• Repeat.

It all seems incredibly depressing when it’s spelled out. It’s the hip new thing to complain about, and I am nothing if not totally engrossed in the latest whining fad. Perhaps it’s not so new and I am just arriving on a scene quite familiar to every person ever in existence. I might even take it a step further: that each person encounters this process at different times in their lives and as a complete individual. Isolated, unable to describe, and baffling to those around them.

Generation after generation steps forward vowing to grow and succeed where their elders failed. To be true to themselves and not let the distractions of their surroundings render this task incomplete. Pity, after the spark of creativity wears off. We are left with the burden of knowing that although we can be more, we just can’t change.