Aug 31, 2010

on letting the cat out of the bag



Inspiration can be a little bit like a cat. Just when you seek it out and want it to pay attention to you, it walks away, turns it back, gives you the cold shoulder. But if you pretend to ignore it, sit down and get to work and let it come to you, suddenly, there it is, rubbing its nose against your hand, asking to be noticed.

Some days no matter what, you just don't feel inspired. Fear gets in the way, life gets in the way, all those things we have to do, chores and work and caretaking and maintaining, and what do you do when you just don't feel it?

Do you walk away in frustration? Give up? Or do you sit down and wait?

I have, at different times, done all three. Sometimes if something isn't working, I let it rest and come back later to find that the solution has come into focus. Sometimes I do something entirely different to distract myself, to give my mind a chance to think about something completely unrelated. Sometimes I sit there and wait, and nothing happens.

And it is those times that make me realize that inspiration isn't outside of me, it is within me. If I begin, if I stop trying to call it into my lap and go about my business, it will suddenly show up, looking for me.

If I can't think of anything to write about, I just sit down and start typing, recording my thoughts and feelings and observations, even if they seem stupid or boring or inconsequential. And sometimes they are. Sometimes it is all just words. But more often than not, something starts to happen as I move through the process. I start to feel the flow of thoughts and the meaning behind the words. I start to feel that I have something to say, even if moments before, I had nothing. I start to feel inspired.

To get better at anything, you have to practice. Over and over and over and over. I think it is the same with inspiration. You have to put yourself in the right place, give yourself the time and the freedom to find it.

So pick up your pencil and start writing. Anything at all: what you did today, what you're thinking about, your frustrations, your joy, what you wish you were doing, what you are grateful for.

Walk around with your camera in hand and start taking pictures. Don't wait for the perfect shot, just start shooting. With a digital camera, there is no reason not to. Get down low or stand on something high to change your perspective.

Pick up a paintbrush and start painting. Or your knitting needles. Or some beautiful paper. Choose a color and begin. Play.

Look so busy that inspiration will wonder what you are up to and come over to investigate.

And the next thing you know, it will be there, on your lap, purring away.

Kelly Letky - The Blue Muse

17 comments:

Clare B said...

I love the idea of being so busy that inspiration comes over to investigate. And I agree - my best "ideas" come when I'm busy doing something

smith kaich jones said...

girl, you are so right. i am so often asked about writer's block, which i seldom experience, knock on wood. i just keep writing, i just ignore it. just keep on. fortunately writing is much easier than painting - painter's block is a whole nother thing. i let that lie and thank god for the words i can find to keep me going, and eventually the paint calls my name again. inspired.

xoxo
Debi

Lisa said...

I agree about putting yourself in the right place & giving yourself the freedom to find it... that starts inward first...

I am in love with your site ~ grabbed a button ~*~

Dyche Designs said...

I love this post and the analogy you made. It's so very true. Off to get busy in the hope that inspiration will want to see what I'm up to. :0)

Marcie said...

How perfect..and so very true!! Sometimes it's just a matter of beginning..of putting those words to paper..of just doing it that inspires you to do more!!!

We are definitely on the same page..:-)

Cheri said...

This analogy is so very perfect Kim! I love it.

Anonymous said...

Kim, thank you so much for these words,they are just what I needed to hear. I have been inspiration less for most of the summer and today is the second day in a row that important words have impacted me. Thank you. Pat

Diane said...

yes, so true. I learned this a long time ago but then again I've been 'around' for a very long time too :)
Great words of encouragement.

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Yes, inspiration creeps up on me when I am busy doing something else...I have learned to jot it down so I don't forget it later!
:)

Carola Bartz said...

I love the comparison with the cat - it is so true. I have often experienced that inspiration hits in a moment I least expected it. I've learned to trust that and not get myself worked up if I'm not inspired at all.
On top of that, the photo of the cat is gorgeous. A ginger cat?

ELK said...

i really enjoyed this Kelly ..the encouragement is always appreciated & needed ...even better that inspiration is "purring"

Suki said...

Truly beautiful words and you are more than right!
Glad to find you here on the Inspiration studio every now and then.

Leah C said...

Thank you for the inspiration:)

Jamie said...

Kelly - you said is so well, it doesn't always come worth it, but sticking to it is so worth it.

Kim Klassen said...

kelly, you are so brilliant. this post is perfectly stated.....

also i wanted to say that i didn't write this post...but i sure wish i did!! :)

it was kelly.. our kelly... :)

xxo, kim

Prairie Girl Studio said...

wow, kelly ... you are so in tune ...
the other day, they were talking on the radio
about what you fear most ...
then yesterday, i was driving along
and i was suddenly gripped with fear
about what to do with my creativity ...
how to harness it, keep it alive and
put it forth ...
so, thank you ~ your words and wisdom
and inspiration are timely and incredibly helpful
and encouraging ...
xoxo
prairiegirl
LOVE 'look so busy that inspiration will wonder what you are up to and come over to investigate' ... : )

beth said...

you always the best words....the best advice.....
xo