Recently I wrote about whether the company you keep is killing your creativity, both the people around you externally, and the company you keep in your mind, your own negative thoughts, and inner critic.
The other side of this of course is to be aware of, and grateful for, all your positive and inspiring influences.
There will always be random sources of inspiration that come to you from nowhere. Maybe you see a certain picture in a shop window, in a gallery, on a blog, and it leads to a new story. Maybe a news item or an overheard conversation or a dream you have results in the beginnings of a new series of mixed media collages.
To a great extent we need to be aware and open at all times to being led, to being excited and motivated by everything around us, to let it take our own creativity to new places.
If we do, we will always have fresh stimulation for what we create and want to express.
Aside from these random, almost arbitrary influences though, there are far more constant, long term influences on what, how, and how much we create.
These fall under two canopies:
First, the people who encourage and inspire by what they do and say. This can be directly to you, your friends who support your art, your creativity and your life in general, those you have direct contact with.
Then there are the people you know less directly, maybe you follow their blog online, or you admire their artwork or read all their novels (and in these cases of course they don’t even have to be still living), or simply see them as a role model for how you’d like to live your own (creative) life more.
The second category are those who are the source of almost all of your greatest creativity. You could call them a muse, but I find that word hopelessly inadequate in beginning to describe the depth and breadth of their influence.
These are the people who seem to somehow help you tap into an almost depthless well of beauty within you and spill it out upon the page or canvas or film.
Speaking personally for a moment if I could, I write everyday about something or other, it’s like eating or sleeping to me. And I could write a poem of some kind at the drop of a hat. But it wouldn’t be the most authentic, soulful, heartfelt poem I ever wrote. For that I need so much more inspiration, something much more personal.
Over the last year and a half or so, I’ve written more poems, and haikus, and stories and letters than any other period in my life. It’s been like a glorious everlasting summer of the richest, most abundant creativity I’ve ever known, and I’ve continually surprised myself in terms of the depth, diversity and amount of words of written. A life’s work in 18 months. I can barely believe it when I look back.
And probably about 95% of it has been inspired by one person.
The point of this post is to help you be aware of the positive influences on your own creativity.
Then to let these people know!
If you think someone is amazing and they’ve led to you painting or singing or writing like never before, let them know.
If they’ve opened within you a wondrous vast cave of priceless creative treasures, a cave you didn’t even know you had within you, let them know.
Inspiration is everything. Please give thanks to yours. Please let them know.
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