"If you wait for inspiration, you're not a writer, but a waiter."
Creative people need to be stimulated to reach beyond the humdrum immediate concerns of their lives and get into the 'zone' - the state where the creative subconscious mind expands and begins to make the elusive connections that are the beginnings of any work of creation. Inspiration is not something we can count on to 'happen' while we wait, however; we must actively seek it out.
Every now and then there's a power outage in the valley where I live; the immediate reaction of most people, including myself, is a howl of annoyance. But once the candles have been lit and the urgency to continue doing whatever interrupted life-and-death activity, such as staring blankly at a TV sitcom, has vanished, the positive aspects of the outage become apparent: the quiet (who knew the refrigerator roared like that?), the closeness, the conversation, the tuning in to the world and tuning in to ourselves. If the outage occurs at night, I invariably wander outdoors and look up at the stars that suddenly seem so huge and numerous they crowd the sky. I'm sensitized to the sounds and scents of the night, the coolness of the breeze, and feel a connection with all of creation, and with the creative energy of the universe.
The ground carpeted with pink poui blooms
What's the point of all this preamble? Simply that when I'm connected to nature, when the creative thrust of the earth is all around me, my own creativity swells up and there I am in the 'zone'.This is one of the reasons I seek out nature - admittedly not very hard to do when you live in a forested valley on a tropical island with unspoilt streams, tiny pools and waterfalls within walking distance. But wherever you are, even sitting in front of a computer screen as you are right now, you can seek out quiet and natural surroundings to calm your mind, refresh your spirit, and allow your creativity to flourish.
We were all born to be creative. Our restless brain continually recreates and rearranges itself in response to the world around it. As writers, with the goal of communicating in the special ways that only we can, we must give ourselves the quiet, solitude and natural space in which inspiration rains and creativity takes root.
Photos are of poui trees in bloom on the grounds of a high school in Trinidad where my son studied and I taught for a short while. Photographer is V. Stanford.