Thoughts on Inspiration

Hello everyone! Today I want to talk about one of the main things that keeps me determined to create. whether that be making photographs or writing blog posts this bit of advice keeps me focused and encouraged. One time I was browsing the internet for “research” (let’s face it, I was procrastinating) and someone said that “Amateurs wait for inspiration, the pros just get to work. This has been one of the most important ideas I’ve come across recently. It’s so true, if I only created work when I was inspired then I wouldn’t have a quarter of the photographs I do now, I wouldn’t have started this blog, and I wouldn’t have presented my work in exhibitions.

I think if you have a creative goal that you want to achieve then this is the golden rule for making it happen. As long as you continue to practice it’ll only be a matter of time before your work gets good enough and someone will want to present it. Vincent Van Gogh spent his whole life without seeing any huge success. If he let that stop him then he wouldn’t of made more than two or three paintings. Greatness requires tenacity.

I find that whenever I’m taking photographs as soon as I get bored or tired I tell myself that if I stick with it for a little while longer then I’ll have a much greater chance of creating something good. The vast majority of my favorite photographs are taken at the tail end of a photowalk, after at least an hour or so of trying to make something worthwhile. I’ve been reading a bit about how people go into the “flow state” and consistent deliberate practice is always the first thing on the list. Second is that it only occurs after a certain amount of time practicing.

So let’s forget about this concept of “inspiration”. I think wishing for inspiration is a flawed idea, it may technically exist, we’ve all felt a drive to do something that was sparked by innate “inspiration”, but to rely on this for doing the hard work that goes into making a good piece of work is just unrealistic. One of my favorite youtubers by the name of CGPgrey once said that he doesn’t believe in the idea of free will, he only believes in structure. I may not entirely agree but I do think there’s a lot of truth to it, if we don’t structure our lives according to our goals then we’re in essence structuring ourselves to procrastinate.

So to wrap things up if you have a creative goal that you want to achieve don’t wait for “inspiration” just go out and start working on it!