On Inspiration

I know.  Elizabeth Gilbert.  She wrote Eat, Pray, Love and lots of people think she is terrible.  I read that book and it was fun and it made me feel nice on the inside so whatever.  It didn’t change my life but it made me feel nice on the inside and honestly who would kick a nice-inside-feeling out of bed in this crazy, mixed-up world?  Not I.  So Elizabeth Gilbert was on RadioLab (which is a lovely radio show about science and being a human and brains and stuff) and she was talking about inspiration.  And I found it inspiring (barf)!  I did, though.  Anyway.  She imagines inspiration like the Greek muse.  Like it’s a separate thing.  It comes to you when it wants to come to you.  And you slave and sweat, working something to death, writing tons of crap all day, so that when inspiration comes it knows you deserve it because you’ve been sweating so much on all this crap you’ve been writing.  You deserve a break.  So inspiration gives you a break.

The reason I like this is because I get all worked up about writing – especially when starting a new project.  I think every new project needs to be the culmination of all the things I value and believe in.  It needs to CHANGE THE WORLD.  It needs to be my contribution to humanity.  Which, holy crap, feeling that way can really stop you before you begin.  So I have a new project floating around in my brain and I haven’t started it yet.  But I like that I can start it and it doesn’t have to be everything.  It doesn’t have to be the entirety of me as a writer and a person.  It can just be this thing that exists.  It came to me in my head and it needs me to write it because it can’t write itself.  So I’m just trying to allow it to exist.  Inspiration doesn’t mean anything if nobody’s writing it down.  I think it will free me up to not have to be a part of the things I write so much.  The things I write aren’t me, they are the things that need to be written.

In other news, I have a ten-minute play in the Boston Theatre Marathon!  It’s May 22nd at the Boston Center for the Arts.  You guys should come.  I’m really excited about it.

In other other news, I bought a neti pot today because I have had fucking congestion in my fucking face for like a week and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  I’ll be sure to chronicle my adventures with the neti pot.  I hope I don’t barf everywhere when I try to use it.  I bet I’ll barf.  At least it will make a good story!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “On Inspiration

  1. Judy McManus

    You won’t barf and it will help.

  2. Auntie Nancy

    ” I think it will free me up to not have to be a part of the things I write so much. The things I write aren’t me, they are the things that need to be written.”

    Oh, man…I LOVE this….I LOVE most what you wrote there that I quoted. It speaks to me, a lot. So, you’re on a roll….keep it coming.

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