Have you ever waited for inspiration to come? Have you struggled to catch a whiff of fresh air before getting started on a project? Have you ever felt blank in your greatest moments of need, when it seemed everything depended on you getting an ingenious idea? Well, I suppose you have, and that you have sometimes been disappointed, as I have been. I have found out that no great venture is sustained on the ground of inspired ideas. Inspiration may get you started, but diligence and commitment to a cause keeps you in the long haul.
If it is work, you must show up and get started even if you lack the desire or inner push you need. If it is a relationship, you must go on and demonstrate your commitment whether or not you feel the flames of passion, bond of family or cord of friendship that ties you together. If it is art, you must begin with a sketch, even if you don’t know what the end will look like. If it is writing, you must begin with letters, even if unsure what to write about. That is what my poem below speaks to: commitment to doing even when you feel uninspired.
Inspiration comes unannounced and
Unexpected like a journeyman
From a strange and faraway land
I scramble around for my notepad
And writing pen to hold it down
But the thing is gone away from me
Ever before I could scribble a thought
Leaving me blank like a clean slate
So, here I am left all alone to room with
The blandness of my daily routine
And the blinding rigor of hard work
Creativity is nothing but what I make of it
Unless of course I can make my own
Inspiration by building true beauties
From scratch till my eyes behold in wonder
A masterpiece – ingenuity born of discipline
I find in my experience, that inspiration often comes as you apply yourself to a task or a cause. Brilliant ideas come in the process of diligently doing what little you can. To lay back and expect inspired ideas before getting started is to be set up for disappointment. And if you have the good fortune of getting inspired up front, your greatest achievement would be commitment to following your plans through, even if you no longer feel inspired to pursue that idea. Do this, both for yourself and those coming after you.
What are you waiting for? Get started! Already started? Get going and keep at it! Your grit is needed to gain the glory!
Toyin Taiwo, July 2020