Monday, October 7, 2013

Making Way For Inspiration

One of my absolute favorite books is Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. It’s about how to identify and get past the things that we allow to impede our progress. (And it’s way more interesting than the sentence I just wrote!) I highly recommend you read it. You don’t have to be an artist. Even if you hate art, there is probably still something for you in it.

In the book, the author relates the following anecdote:

“Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. ‘I write only when inspiration strikes,’ he replied. ‘Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.’”

Farther down the page, Pressfield elaborates, explaining that just the simple act of sitting down to do our work makes way for inspiration.

So here I am, between mosaic projects, and feeling adrift. I have some vague ideas about projects I want to pursue, the key word here being “vague.” What better time to test this theory! What will happen if I just start working? Won’t know unless I try. Out to the garage I go – maybe looking through my stock of plates will shake loose an idea or two …

I laid out some plates on the garage floor, loosely sorting them into color families. Number one canine Daisy assisted.

Hmmm, this combo looks promising: shades of purple with beige. (And to think I almost didn’t buy the beige!)

Could be interesting … maybe with a dark gray grout … might work for the wall sconce idea …

Preliminary conclusion: it would appear that perhaps there IS something to the “just get started” theory of creativity. I will continue the test.

Are you waiting for inspiration? What would happen if you just got started?


  1. I have owned that book for years! You are, perhaps, the second person I know who has it. :) And, yes, we just have to "start" our art and let inspiration perk up.

  2. I think you're on to something here, Kelli. Just placing yourself in the space where you create gets the ball rolling. And I love your assistant!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! (I'll make sure my assistant gets a biscuit.)

  3. must get that book :) sounds like just what I need!