As a writer who works for money, it’s not enough to wait for inspiration. Even more so when managing content for my clients or own businesses.
But Austin Kleon has another way of looking at inspiration. While many of us think that ideas are something that comes from within us, Kleon suggests that ideas are really around us. What we need to do is let them in.
Kleon quotes another article, in which Tom Waits talks about how kids treat their ideas like “little origami things or paper airplanes”.
They don’t hang on to them for dear life. They make up a song and if they “lose it”, so be it.
“They’ll just make another one.”
I’ve been working on fiction, casually, for more than 10 years now and I have countless unfinished pieces that I’ve tossed.
Occasionally, the ideas come back to me in a different form. Listen to Your Grandmother was a story that had been sitting in my head for some time.
A conversation with a group of colleagues inspired my opening lines. And suddenly, the story was done. It wrote itself.
I’ve learned, over the years, that I’m no artist. I am only a channel. I just need to keep “showing up”, to facilitate the ideas that are ready to be born.