“There’s a green one, and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one And they’re all made out of ticky tacky And they all look just the same” Pete Seeger
Inspiration is an elusive thing, it is like the wind, sometimes it seems like it doesn’t exist, at other times the hurricane is blowing.
As an artist I am acutely aware of inspiration. Next to dedication inspiration is perhaps the most important quality in writing. Nothing will ever substitute hard work. There are masses of potential geniuses out there who just didn’t have the work ethic. Still in art one needs more than the hours sitting at the typewriter.
Inspiration is something that can be evoked. Reading is a great way to inspire a person. Especially reading about something that is outside your normal sphere. There is nothing more exciting than learning something new, something that you didn’t even know existed. When I read about the assassination of Fred Hampton by the United States Government or the Hanging of the Hay market ‘leaders’ I stopped my reading and composed two of my most memorable poems. Even if something doesn’t move the artist right away, the thoughts and ideas are lodged in the brain ready to be released in the future.
My wife suffers from dementia. She went through that period of time when she always wanted to be out of the house. I would bring a notebook with me and as we sat in a park I would write down notes and ideas. As I drove miles and miles my thoughts would be on my writings and stories. That way when I eventually got home to write I would produce a high amount of words. This method was effective and from it came one of my best books “I Should Have Been A Rock Star”.
I dedicate the hours between nine and eleven to writing unless I am not home. At this time my wife has gone to sleep and the television is off. Even if nothing comes to me I still sit at the computer and try to force things. My goal for a night’s writing is two thousand words. For a week my goal had been six thousand words but since my wife is no home bound I expect to do more, up to ten thousand. This is in of course in addition to my blogging and poetry.
I also recognize that over the decades of writing I have gone through phases. Also one must factor in that one needs to learn how to write. I have certain methods for writing poetry, short stories, and novels. They all involve different methods. Poetry is usually by inspiration. However I also write poems for people of Facebook. I ask the person for a title and whatever the title is I will write a poem. As such I have a large collection of poems on a diversity of topics. Many topics I would not have even thought of writing on. I learned to write short stories when I was out of work. I struggled through the process but now I have it down, where I can write a short story of ten thousand words in a week. Novels are always an ongoing process with me and I found with these I need to keep notes.
Inspiration is everywhere. When the artists that created the Traveling Wilburys saw their neighbors moving they wrote a song about what they red on the box, “Handle With Care” Of course the rock superstars applied it to their own lives and expressed the blues of being an artist that is commercialized to the max.
Procrastination is the worst thing. I feel robbed when I don’t use my time productively and I feel good when I make good progress. If I get six thousand words written then it is a very good day. If I get almost nothing done it is terrible. But seven days a week I am at my art. Everything I do sets me up for the next piece of art.
Check out “I Should Have Been A Rock Star” Maybe it will inspire you. https://johnkaniecki.weebly.com/i-should-have-been-a-rock-star.html