As 2016 draws to a merciful close, and 2017 looms, I think it’s appropriate to talk about inspiration. As in, how to get some. Inspiration just adds that bit of lubrication to the cogs and gears of everyday life, making the mundane seem like a treat. And frankly, as we anticipate the next four years of President Trump, we need anything that will get us through the days. Today, I am going to give you a snapshot of how I get inspiration on demand. Specifically, how I get inspired to write, but these tips are broadly applicable. So grab a notepad before reading on.
First, my credentials: I am just a person who has all their ducks in a row. I basically waft about in a cloud of organization. When I have extra time on my sturdy-yet-feminine hands, I like to scrub my kitchen floors with a toothbrush. My children never eat fish crackers. What can I say? Some of us just have our acts together. So you know that when I demand inspiration, it obeys me.
How I get inspired to write:
- Wait for the exact moment that my children are in a total frenzy. There are tears! And bites! And hands in toilets! And flying food/bouncy cows/boots! And the 3-year-old is beating on the 1-year-old! Wait! It’s the other way around! Suddenly, total brilliance starts running through my brain. I have dozens of ideas for articles and posts, each better than the last. If only I could find my pen. Wait – one of the rugrats is writing on the wall with it! “Give me that pen!!”
- Wrestle children into bed. All is quiet. Make coffee. Breathe. Time to blog.
- All inspiration is gone. I have forgotten how to spell my own name. Maybe some butter would help.
- Melt large quantities of butter. Add large quantities of sugar. Bake.
- Consume copious amounts of baked goods. At least sore stomach reminds me that I am alive. Ok. Let’s try to write. Wait – the one-year-old is demanding a visit from Mother Cow to get her through her nap. Dang it, L!
- Eat more butter-soaked goodness. I’m beyond full. So I’m sure no-one else needs supper either. One chore off my list.
- Children wake up. Inspiration hits again. Attempt to make article notes as Z describes how Mister Potato Head is going to come to life on Christmas Eve (???)
- Pack butter and coffee. Visit public library and hammer out this dubious post while trying not to notice the drug deal going down in the nearby stacks and the elderly man picking his nose.
Repeat as necessary.
Jokes aside, I’ve found that motherhood has actually
forced enabled me to schedule my inspirational moments to some extent. Maybe it’s just a matter of time management: when you have small people who need you NOW, you have to embrace scheduling even if it horrifies your inspired soul. If my kids had been around when I was writing my thesis, I’m sure I would have completed it in half the time (and would still have four hours per day for Facebook). So my actual hot tip for acquiring inspiration is to get yourself some small children (or borrow mine), or some other demanding life form. Dogs, chickens, elderly parents, the drug dealer down the block: anything that requires responsibility and regular vigilance should do the trick. Slather in butter, and get ready to get inspired.