This article is inspired as well as a respond to "Inspiration is procrastination’s cousin" by Steven Corona. It's about why Inspiration is a lie, kind of.
Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.
We're always waiting for inspiration as Steven said. We're waiting to get inspired to paint this perfect piece of art, to build the next big thing or come up with the next big advertising idea - Whatever it is, we're always waiting for inspiration, but we shouldn't
Inspiration is like love (I know, now it's getting romantic) - But try to read Steven's blogpost and replace the word INSPIRATION to LOVE - The whole article would still make (almost) perfect sense. Seeking for the perfect love is like seeking for the perfect inspiration. The harder you try, the longer it will take - It's like magic, it's luck.
Now you might say luck is not fair, some have more and some have less. Well, luck is more like an attitude. You might say you can't control your own inspiration or luck, but you can definitely enhance chances and put yourself in positions where inspiration & luck strikes you more often.
Steven said to just start working, there is no inspiration, or it will just hit you while working. It's similar to what I wrote a few months ago about being "self taught" - It's a process, things just hit you while you're moving forward, but things can't hit you while standing still.
When talking about seeking inspiration we first need to stop seeking inspiration. This always involves a lot of risks since we're often work under pressure and we don't have the time to stop thinking about something we actually need to think about — Inspiration will usually strike when you're not forcing it to strike.
Let's just pretend Inspiration exists as a random pattern like in the example I illustrated below. When forcing to find inspiration (see 1.) my path is very linear/narrow and chances are pretty low to hit my inspiration spots, it might not take forever, but definitely a long time.
When I don't try to force inspiration my path is very random (see 2), I go for a walk, I go to the movies, I read a book, I play tennis, I have a whiskey... what ever it is. What happens is basically that I put myself in situations where I'm more likely to get hit by inspiration without even looking for it. Same happens when you just start working even if you don't even know with what exactly or what the goal is. (as Steven said)
I learned this a lot when participating in events like the Cannes YoungLions contest. You get a briefing and you have 24 hours to solve it. Usually you sit down and start thinking, you're waiting for the lightning bolt that will eventually hit you. After 24h of waiting nothing happened.
Imagine you get the briefing, and then you go for a walk, play tennis or do something completely else for 5-10hours - Or you just start working, moving shit around, but don't think about "the big idea" or inspiration.
The risk is, while working under a lot of pressure (24h), to calm yourself and just do something completely different with a solid trust in your instincts. It sounds more reasonable for us to sit down, try to force inspiration and get completely stressed out.
I mean, who has the balls to go for a walk when you know you have 1hour to solve something? Only the ones who know that they will get inspired after 30mins anyway and then they have 30min of productive working to get things done. Fortunately people who do this don't even think about getting inspired, but that's why they get it.
The perfect love will hit you in the least expected moment when you don't think about it at all. Same with inspiration or luck. The ones who try really hard will keep trying while the ones who don't try to force it will earn the fruits. It's a simple attitude.
PS: I'm also writing this blogpost mostly for my self, to remind me to take more risks and stop waiting for inspiration, stop waiting for the perfect moment or stop waiting for anything in general. Waiting sucks.