Inspiration Isn’t Everywhere. It’s in Your Back Pocket.
Shower? Yeah, this is also why you have the best ideas in the shower
One of my friends proudly replied: Inspiration is something that allows us to do something which is out of our comfort zone.
He followed it with an emoji: 😁
I was going to punch him hard on his face, crack open his mouth, break his incisors and give some nice makeups on his face. But I calmed down. He’ll get married in a few days, after five years. I was expecting something better and cooler, from him. He’s a good writer. Anyway, I didn’t calm down. I gave him a digital punch with an emoji: 👊🏻
But when I thought about it for some time — three hours, it made sense. He wasn’t wrong.
Last few days, I wasn’t “inspired” because of stress (maybe?) I tried everything what everyone — the top-writers always say, no matter what:
Creativity comes from being present away from your desk.
So I ran to the supermarket and sat down on the tool, doing nothing, buying nothing, for six hours straight, while getting cursed by the owner, every single minute.
Drawing. Watching movies. Listening to music. Seeing friends. Watching passersby from a cafe. Getting stuck in a traffic jam. These all get us inspired, somehow.
I hate drawings but I tried something.
I watched movies, even though I fear it.
I listened to music, even after never forgetting the day I made a swimming pool out of my tears by hearing a sad song.
I have zero true friends.
I sat down with my legs crossed on the road and tried watching the passerby.
I requested the traffic officer to somehow keep the traffic signal at Red because there’s no chance of any kind of traffic jam here.
I was excited those will get me inspired.
Because Zulie Rane also says: Our minds aren’t wired to pump out ideas the way we think they should. Instead, they stubbornly insist on being creative only when we least expect it: when we’re distracted.
I thought I’m sure going to be successful at getting inspired this time.
But I didn’t. Doing those didn’t inspire me. Those give us creativity. Creativity is very much different from inspiration. Inspiration gets us acting, creativity makes us high.
Like Cynthia Marinakos, I too thought inspiration and creativity are equal, that they are interdependent. (Fist-five, Cynthia!)
But I was wrong.
And, inspiration doesn’t give you ideas and doesn’t sparks your creativity.
Cynthia’s mother might have pat her back when she told, because she is right and it’s cool:
Inspiration can come from the boring: showing up every day, at the same place.
It comes from just doing the work.
It comes from reading other people’s work.
I followed that and grabbed my heart from my back pocket (ohh, I mean my mobile) and just read some people’s — writer’s work.
I was inspired instantly.
The feature image format I have in this post is stolen with my shoulders back and high from Jon Brosio.
This post was going to be just two-minutes read and nothing would have been backed-up.
I got courageous enough for that because Thomas Smith has done it: his latest post is a two minute read, nothing backed up — only explained through his own viewpoints, brought out the side that’s mostly ignored (what’s bad about having a high read-ratio?) and is of immense value. This got curated even after having the word Medium in it, which Medium curators doesn’t usually like, as Casey Botticello hints at his Medium Story Curation Checklist (2019):
Do not use the word “Medium” in your article title. This will almost guarantee that you will not be curated (this article will not be curated because of this). Medium does not want to appear to be pushing content about themselves.
I kept reading Niklas Göke’s stories with my back straight and stole the formatting idea — not using any kind of subheadings in the post and applied it in this post because I saw him still getting curated when his post adds value.
I complimented Sean Kernan every day and stole one of his coolest writing presentation technique: bun-bun-patty…unexpected surprise at the end, i.e. give the meat of your post at the end and applied it in this post.
I stole the confession/disclosure idea from Shaunta Grimes and disclosed everything here (see above?)
Do I fear getting sued, banned or abandoned?
Do I worry about success?
Nope. I’ll tell you why soon.
I never got what inspiration actually is, even after looking into all the top dictionaries over the internet, until yesterday my friends’ answer got me thinking and inspiring.
Five definitions of inspiration from top five dictionaries which made sense just yesterday.
1. “The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative.” Source: Lexico.
2. “A feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something, which gives you new and creative ideas.” Source: Collins Dictionary
3. “An inspiring or animating action or influence.” Source: Dictionary.com
4. “A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation.” Source: Merriam-Webster
5. “The excitement of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.” Source: The Free Dictionary
Mentally stimulated, enthusiasm, influence, excitement are just emotions of courage.
Okay, let’s revisit my friend’s definition of inspiration: Inspiration is something that allows us to do something which is out of our comfort zone.
To get out of our comfort zone, we require courage. We earn courage when we know that someone is either already successful or is doing the same thing that we want to, in our field.
The belief that someone returned safely gives us the courage to attempt and that’s all inspiration is.
Inspiration gives us the courage to fly, with legs, without any worry about the success or fear about failure.
Inspiration gets us in the flow state so we don’t care about the result or consequence.
This is why I stole the image format idea. This is why I stole the title format idea. This is why I was going to make this post a 2-min-read. This is why I’m writing about inspiration by knowing the definition just yesterday and making a whole post by stealing my friend’s definition. This is why I stole the formatting and presentation and mass-linking and confession idea.
Inspiration gives courage. Inspiration requires courage. Stealing is courageous enough.
Inspiration and creativity aren’t equal.
Inspiration comes from studying someone who is already successful in what you want to or thought to do, or they already tried it before you.
Inspiration comes from studying other’s work, in your field because they have done it or were successful doing it. You get the courage of the attempt with that. It doesn’t come from studying everything — that’s creativity. Inspiration and creativity are different.
While Picasso is an inspiration for many of today’s artists, his famous quotes can be applied for anyone, no matter if artist, student, employee, or business owner.
The bolded part from one of Sinem Günel’s post on Creativity makes everything clear. Inspiration is something someone can be or their work can be, to us. Meaning: either someone inspires us or their work gives us courage.
This is why you get inspiring, life-changing ideas in the shower or the bathroom: you are relaxed to reflect about what you study or studied earlier about someone in your field, not because you study everything.
Whenever I’m out of inspiration now, I grab my back pocket to reach my mobile (and not distract and disconnect myself from everything to try to study everything) and I become a thief. I steal. That’s courageous enough. That’s what inspiration is. That gets us inspired, right?