A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Mother
Inspiration is really just a heightened way to say, I want this for myself, I want to be like that, I want to do that too.
We take from each other the things we find worthy, and we make it ours.
On the inside I am a goddess. Yet on the outside I am perfectly ordinary because I lack the willpower to bring my greatness out in the open. I am too weak to change. I fear my own genius and I set myself up to fail. I procrastinate and avoid beginning. I cheat. I quit when creation gets hard. I choose the easy way, and I make excuses, and it eats me alive when I sell myself cheap. I embrace denial and I lie to myself that I am just too busy, too tired, not talented enough anyway so what's the point...?!
You do that long enough and you fall into the habit of being only half as good as you deserve. No one has heard of a mediocre goddess.
But great artists don't need permission to be great.
They are free of expectation, most of all their own. To us they are idols, prodigies, virtuosos, champions -- we need them to be when we are not, when we can't or we won't break away from the limitations we impose on ourselves. Great artists (as a rule) don't see themselves as masters and kings and pioneers. They have their own vices to indulge, demons to straddle, shortcomings to accept. Great writers wrote from war trenches, in poverty, as single mothers, drunk, sick, insane. Great writers have spent years trudging away at bad jobs doing boring menial tasks. Life gives us all very good reasons not to try. Great writers kept trying, not because they wanted to be famous and looked up to, but because they absolutely needed to write regardless of their circumstance.
And this is precisely what inspires; the stipulation that an idea, a story is bigger than one's insecurities. Success (celebrity and recognition) or failure (criticism or obscurity) are merely symptoms, while the creative process itself is the human experience that makes trying worth it. The out-of-body state of existence when you compose, the exhilaration of the mind, the vindication of the soul; that's stronger than the guilt from neglecting the "real" world or one's daily responsibilities.
The people who love us want to see us happily on our path, pursuing that strange and crazy desire we call artistic expression (for the lack of a better understanding). Most importantly, it doesn't matter if the art is good or bad, if it's perfect or sketchy, complex or rudimentary, as long as we give it our all in the making. Only when we forgo self-sabotage and get it through out thick heads that we will never be complete if we don't allow the idea, the story to manifest itself through the vessels of our minds and fingers, then we will deserve to call ourselves ARTISTS.
Art is freedom. It's the triumph of civilization because it proves us time and again that we are capable of more than sentience -- we are able to know who we are and create something more, bigger, better despite of it.
I want this for myself. I want to be like that. I want to do that, too.
I want to be inspired.
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