Do Something Creative for Its Own Sake. Period.

Untitled-1It’s the easiest thing to drop from the to-do list, and the simplest thing to excuse yourself from doing: A creative thing for its own sake. Getting that (whatever it is–writing, painting, scrapbooking, model-airplane-making) onto your schedule, and fending off all other competing, and arguably more urgent issues, is easier said than done.

And that’s the thing about inspiration as pertains to all creative projects: You can’t wait for it show up.

If you sit around pining for your prince to trot in on his steed and save you from obligation, tedium, and routine, you’ll be sorely disappointed. It ain’t coming. Creativity is the horse, not the prince. A horse will take you somewhere, anywhere–but you have to get up on it and tell it where to go.

So I decided to submit a manuscript to be considered for an advanced writing workshop at the 92Y in Manhattan. I have been wanting to invest the time and the money to devote to being in a writing class, and realized if I waited til I had both,  it would never ever happen. So I submitted a manuscript to be considered for admission, and then when I got accepted, I said, OK. I’m doing this.

In fact, I’m writing a short story right now–which is laughable because I’m not a fiction writer. But I’m really loving it–and hating it, because this is hard, and yet immensely enjoyable. And yet I’m 100% sure that if I didn’t have a draft due in a matter of days, I would not be doing it, period. That friction, that discomfort, that inertia you fight to get shit done, that’s where the magic happens.

You want a spark of inspiration? Start the fires going again? Then you’ve got to sit there and rub two sticks together for a while.