Sunday, November 09, 2008

Inspiration; Let it Stir Something.

For the past hour I've been doing some reading and writing. The first half spent reading a book by author Ellen Hopkins, whom I share a similar style of writing with. I enjoy reading her books because of the inspiration they provide (along with interest in understanding the subjects she deals with) and find that my own writing flows better after reading her material. The second half of my hour has been dedicated to writing, though not previously intended. Seldom do I plan my writing time or subjects to write on. I can’t determine how particular events are going to make me feel or what thoughts will be provoked in me until its reality is experienced and perceived by me. While reading words on a page that were written by a stranger, I didn’t expect to think about current situations in my life and how they make me feel in relation to what I was reading, but that’s how the two pages I wrote were inspired, and is often how inspiration works.

Before I continue, let me explain the reason behind me writing this blog:

A while back, an acquaintance from high school wrote something on her facebook status that left me feeling bugged. It was long enough ago that I don’t remember who it was or the actual wording of her statement—not that she holds it close to her heart or anything—but my feelings of annoyance have resurfaced several times since disagreeing with her words. Something along the lines of: "Inspiring quotes are just a way of feeling smart for the uninspired" (although it must have said something different for it to annoy me as much as it did.) What she said clearly indicated her belief that all people tend to or should be in a constant state of inspiration without having to read anything (etc.) to spark the inspiration. While it is possible to have creative thoughts without reading something, I believe people should take the time to be inspired, whether it be through written words, time spent in nature, or the studying of artwork. I could contradict this person’s statement in saying that
those who find inspiring quotes to be made for the “stupid and uninspired” most likely don’t have a passion of their own and probably don’t make personal goals or care to grow as an individual.

Inspiration is derived from what a person has experienced and been surrounded with, what that person seeks in life, the beliefs that person has (and how easily they are swayed vs. how opinionated they are), and what that person is currently going through in life.

Allowing yourself to be inspired is one of the smartest things you could do, especially in American life, which has become so based on convenience. People are used to being stressed and are either wrapped up in work they don't enjoy, or sitting in front of a TV to de-stress before another day of work begins. Americans don’t spend enough time taking deep breaths and thinking for themselves. And then we’re left with a bunch of lost people with a skewed perception of reality who spend additional time getting more and more lost with “convenient” highs from drugs, alcohol, gambling, or sex. Less and less people spend time reading classic literature, listening to music that inspires (the majority of pop music today promotes sex or suicidal thoughts), and spending time appreciating art—much of which is right in front of our eyes.

While not all people enjoy reading quotes in their spare time for inspiration, almost all people have a hobby they enjoy taking part in. Beyond hobbies are passions--things people live for and can put their whole soul into. Though I have several, music is what I am most passionate about. Inspiration in music (and my passion for it, of course) is why my voice is where it is, although much could be done to improve it. Over the years I've listened to an array of music that has inspired me, whether consciously realized or not. Some artists inspired me in setting goals to reach certain notes, other artists inspired the subject of songs I would write, and some artists inspired me to challenge myself in various ways.

Inspiration works individually.
  • Being an individual means you get to decide what you like and what you don't like.

  • Being creative allows you to come up with something of your own based on your individual personality.

  • Being a creative individual means you will come across things that inspire you, which will influence the direction of your creativity, expand your openness to new and different things, and provide you with invigorated feelings.
So tell me, is it really a waste of time to read inspiring quotes to flicker a candle of thought? Is it really so stupid to seek personal growth and understanding?

Inspiration does many things. The writing I was inspired to produce today helped one feeling turn into another feeling. A situation in my book resembled the feeling of uncertainty in the main character. Her situation made me think of people in my life and current feelings. I began asking myself questions, some subconsciously, about why certain feelings were there. And aha! There I found myself with pen and paper writing lines based off emotion, feeling more invigorated with each one, as I was able to see things more clearly. Not only did I achieve personal understanding, but was able to put reasoning to my feelings, which aided in giving perspective and peace to current and future reality.

Maybe not all people seek to understand themselves or the world in depth, but that doesn’t mean a person is incapable of being inspired. Sometimes inspiration comes naturally, sometimes you have to seek it out, but what is most important is that you allow inspiration to occur, and let it happen often.

1 comment:

Ellen Hopkins said...

It's an honor to inspire your muse, Julie.