Vague Inspiration

Yesterday, I had a vague splash of inspiration in the waters of my mind. A line that could have been from a poem ran through my mind, and it was gone in an instant because I had nothing to write it down on. I tried to repeat it to myself in order to commit it to memory, but it didn’t seem to want to be remembered.

Maybe you get those moments when you’re in the car, or somewhere where you can’t grab pen and paper and write things down. A pretty turn of phrase comes into your head and you say it out loud to yourself, and then it disappears. It may flutter back someday, but for the most part, you can assume that it’s gone forever.

Poetry ideas are like that. Story ideas might be a little more concrete, and I got one of those yesterday, too. I was actually smiling when I wrote it down because it fit so well with what I’m trying to do in the story. (Although I’m still unsure of where exactly to go with that particular story, but that’s an entirely different post.)

Interestingly enough, inspiration rarely comes when you’re ready for it or when you’re able to write it down. The best source of inspiration is to be out in life, doing things and taking your mind off writing… so perhaps inspiration comes from the subconscious mind. Give yourself time to live life. Step away from the computer and get inspired, then return to writing with even a vague idea or a little snippet of something. The biggest stories and the most hard-hitting poems can come from the smallest threads of ideas.

(And by the way, the picture is totally random and has nothing to do with the post. I just thought it was pretty – and it’s my favorite color.)

13 thoughts on “Vague Inspiration

  1. Maggie, your words ring true to form. I often get inspired in the early moring while still in bed. I try to remember details and processess for the anticipated work of art. But more ideas keep flooding in. I then realize I am being driven by creativity to get out of bed and start doing the work. A perfect example is my latest 2 posts (please check them out, I think you will like them). Inspiration is always inside of us. Merging with what is outside of us.

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    1. That’s the reason I get out of bed in the morning (well, one of them) – to write and to get some new words down on paper!

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  2. Excellent thoughts Maggie. In order to get back into “real life” and de-clutter my mind I left Facebook for six weeks beginning in mid-January. I went back yesterday due to the death of a good friend’s son. Anyhow, during that time away I found not only more time in my day for other things, but a much clearer thought process as well. Things that were rattling around up there waiting to get out and onto paper actually had a clear channel to do so.

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    1. In order to de-clutter my mind, I gave up Facebook entirely. I haven’t gone back and I have no desire to. It really does help with inspiration!

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  3. I think the reason we seem to get the best ideas when we can’t record them isn’t because the ideas are any better than any of the others. I think our minds assign them higher values just because it knows we CAN NOT record them. It is so easy to think that if you can’t write it down and prove it.

    Hope that doesn’t sound cynical. It isn’t meant to be. But in support of my statement. Before I started carrying an easy-to-use small digital recorder with me everywhere, the number of ideas I get has not decreased, but the impression that they are irreplaceable words of wisdom has.

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    1. I think that might actually be true. Once ideas are actually written out, I think they lose some of the same impact they had when they were in our heads.

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  4. I’m like that with titles. Say there was a name of a song that I’d known for a long time, sometimes I just won’t remember them. And I think you’re definitely right when you say that inspiration comes to us when we get out and live life – otherwise there would be nothing to inspire us!

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    1. I often think of a song or its lyrics, but can’t for the life of me think of its title. Then when I’m in front of a computer and can look up the song, I can’t remember what song it was or any of the lyrics. Weird.

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  5. If I need inspiration, a long walk will almost always do the trick.

    Saw you quoted Florence + the Machine yesterday – that entire album inspires me.

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    1. A long walk works for me, too. And I’ve only heard that one song by Florence and the Machine. Might have to hear more – I haven’t heard anything negative about that band.

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