Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On Inspiration

image credit: quotesarcade.com

Life is a sequence of challenges. First, you need to decide who you want to be. Second, you should make a strategy that will get you there. And finally, there's never a guarantee that you will ever be what you want to be. But as long as you don't give up, it's ok to slip and stand up again.

Remember that saying "if the mountain won't come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain?" Therefore, if inspiration doesn't visit you, you have to get on the road and look for it. As for me, I like to find my inspiration for writing in quotations by different authors. Sometimes they are short and snappy, whereas others are long and sophisticated, but what I like about sayings is that they always make us think. And "cogito ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am"), right?

There are five quotes that I discovered today, and I'd like to share them with you. Even if they won't impact you the way they impacted me, they will definitely push you to think, and making you mind stretch never hurts.

Hurray, here they are:

1. "You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'" George Bernard Shaw  

There was a discussion online on hubpages.com about poetry, and the question was asked: should there be rules in poetry or every poet makes his or her own rules? This is disputable, but I firmly believe that there are rules, but nothing good is created until some of these rules are broken. If nobody tells you that this is wrong, if everyone agrees with you, this means that you are not doing something unique. There is always a conflict in greatness, and new trends and movements were created just because someone said: "Why not?" And it is xtremely important to have the nerve to say to yourself "Why not?" even if the whole world is yelling at you, "Why."

2. "Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia."
                                                     E. L. Doctorow   

Hmmm. According to my favorite dictionary.com, schizophrenia is a "severe mental disorder marked by delusions and hallucinations." Those who write will need no more comments on that.

Well, neither will those who read, probably.

3. "One writes to make a home for oneself, on paper, in time and in others' minds."
                                                                                                                           Alfred Kazin

A great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (Who is Alexander Pushkin?) once said that he made himself a monument out what he wrote. There were real, full-size monuments made in his honor later all over Russia, but there is not one specific I am now thinking about other than his poetic one. And you know what: monument sounds awesome, but I think I like "home" better. Sometimes I feel like I found my home in New York. Sometimes I think that my real home is yet to be found. But I know that the day I write something big, it will be my home, built out of the deepest depths of me, of the most intimate memories and experiences, the expression of me put into words.

Maybe, just a blog post.

image credit: cartoonstock.com
4. "Dreams are like stars...you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny."
                       Anonymous Author

Now this is a great quote that has already been written about all over the Internet. Therefore, there's probably little I can add to what has been said about it. But when I first read it, I remember "Alchemist" by Paolo Coelho. A classmate of mine read it several years ago, and she told me, "When you read this, you will want to live like this." In short, the character of the novel discovers that every person is meant for something, and if we follow our calling, our journey will be easy. In other words, even if everyone tells you that you're crazy doing what you do, even if you hear hundred times that your aspirations will not pay your bills, go for it. If it's truly your way, you will get where you want to be. On the contrary, if you get off your road and choose another one that you consider better, there will be a lot of obstacles there.

But sometimes we get scared thinking, "Do I know enough about stars to distinguish the right one from a wrong one?" And then we go and ask the opinions of experts forgetting that they are experts in their sphere, not in us. They know what the stars are called, but they have no idea which one leads us to our destiny. Hence, go with Coelho's formula: if it is given to you easily, it is your destiny. If a misfortune is followed by another misfortune, then you should listen to your heart, and it will tell you where on your way you took a wrong turn.

5. "There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other."                                                                        Douglas H. Everett 

image credit: mnijm.wordpress.com

I think we all do a little bit of both living in a dream world and facing reality, for example, when we spend our last pay on things we'd like to have hoping that extra money will just be there for us out of nowhere. Then the reality hits us with unpaid bills and a huge container of oatmeal - food for the following two weeks until the next paycheck. That's where we need a little bit of creativity to make them both come together in harmony, for instance, turn off the cable TV for two months in order to buy an expensive bathing suit that you won't be able to afford otherwise. Can you live without a TV or without a bathing suit? Probably, you can. But can you live without creativity?

So whatever it is that inspires you, remember that modern Muses don't come to people. There's a lot that has been done before you and there's a lot being worked on the very same moment you're reading this. Therfore, you have to find your own inspiration in something that works specifically for you, whether it be singing in the shower or reading what other people blog about.


1 comment:

  1. I'm partial to quote #3. I think it rings a lot of truth. A lot of times I don't think we know where we are meant to be and when we create we may find a place that 'settles' us. Just sayin'.