Imagine you're sitting in front of your screen. A blank document stares right at you. Taking another sip of your drink. You muster up all your creative courage giving it another go as your fingers strike the keyboard.
Yet, The right words don't come out. The right sentences don't flow. The ideas are jammed.
What most people do at this point is, they accept defeat. They call it 'Writer's Block' and move on to something else. What happens next is, 2 weeks down the line, you're still blocked.
Who knows when the block will remove itself.
There’s a long standing belief in the artist community: You can't force good art to happen.
It's "Divine Inspiration". Hence it's up to the divine.
If the divine ain't giving you inspiration. Whom can you blame? But what if there was a better way? A way in which no matter when you sit to write, paint, or sing. Words flowed like a clear stream of water. Colors interpolated like the dance of flashing light. Musical notes played like happy children in the mud.
Is it possible to break up with 'artist's block' once and for all?
In my 2 years of writing, speaking, and creating through different mediums.
There has not been a single time when I experienced a block. And I am no Mozart, Da Vinci, or Iqbal. I am an ordinary person creative doing my work.
Yet, I have a firm belief that divine inspiration is always available. Always. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year. You can tap into it anytime you want.
When you're experiencing a block. It's not that divine inspiration has ceased. Your ability to tap into it is under-developed.
The good news is, you can develop your ability to tap into it. Exactly like you learn calculus, cricket or cello.
But before we get into that. Let's talk about why divine inspiration never stops. I asked a great writer once, "Where do you get inspiration from?" She looked at me from across her desk with a look of glee and wonderment,
"How can you not get inspiration, beta?. It's everywhere" In her loving tone. She continued,
"The reason people don't get inspired is because they don't observe. They see."
The reason why divine inspiration can’t stop is because it’s everywhere around you. Have you ever looked at an oak tree and wondered,
It was a simple acorn once. Only about the size of your inner palm. Someone most likely planted it over a thousand years ago.
How exquisite is the process of creation. There it was in all its tiny innocence. Now it triumphs for a 1000 years.
How many travelers did it give shelter to?
How many birds did it give a home to?
How many lovers sat underneath it?
How many raindrops did it drink? …
and how much healthy oxygen is breathed out?
Talk about inspiration? Only from ONE oak tree.
The reason you don’t feel inspired every second of your day is because you have become habitual. You lack inspiration because of habit. Diminishing returns occur when something becomes ordinary. All you witness is the product of 13.8 billion years, where stars die, are reborn, collide, explode, and merge. These events shaped your home, the pale blue dot. Stars created every atom, including oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, calcium, and more. Multiple stars from various places formed these atoms. Atoms were propelled through black space at near light speed, crafting your beautiful eyes. They shaped a living organism capable of observing life and perpetuating it. This journey from star to human signifies the universe reflecting upon itself. Each one of us embodies the entire universe.
How can inspiration not touch you?
There’s inspiration everywhere all the time. Only if you have the eye to look for it. Channeling it into some piece of art is a completely different process. One where most artists get stuck. But before you get into that. As an artist, you must develop an eye for beauty. Challenge yourself to see beauty in everything. Expand your frame of reference by saying “Extraordinary” everywhere you look. When it comes to channeling. There’s a science and an art to it. A good nuclear scientist knows the art of channeling. He taps into the fundamental nuclear forces of creation using the tools he has. Then he channels the energy which he uses for creative or destructive purposes. Same is the case with an artist. Every artist is a channeler of divine inspiration. The artist didn’t create the inspiration, like the scientist didn’t create the nuclear forces. The artist can’t control the inspiration, like the scientist can’t control the nuclear forces. He/She can tap into the force using the tools they have. Every artist has a different set of tools. There are no good or bad tools when it comes to art.
Shakespeare didn’t have better tools than you. He used the same ones, Words.
Da Vinci didn’t have a better paint brush and color than you. I would even argue he had non-optimal tools compared to the ones you have!
But then why is it that Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, while I can’t draw a straight line? (I actually can't).
To understand, let’s talk about the example of coffee or chai. How many ways are there to make a cup of black coffee?
Only a handful.
Then, why does it taste different when you make it vs. when your friend does. Even though you followed the same recipe? By now, you know where I am headed. Both good cooks and artists add their unique flair to their creations despite starting with the same basic ingredients or tools.. As they continue to create, they add their own touch and flair to it. It springs by itself. The discovery of the flair happens in the heaven-field of creation. You can’t come by it before you get your hands dirty in the process. But if you commit to the process. The flair emerges. Your own flair is what makes you unique. It’s your unique genetic code. It’s in-built. It shows itself in your work.
So far, The process is very simple.
Here it is:
1. Develop the eye of wonderment.
2. Channel it in your own medium.
This is the start. There are far more advanced practices every artist can use to tap into inspiration at will. I am afraid I can’t list them all in a single article. My editor won’t appreciate this at all. Until we meet again in part two of this guide.
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