This is something that I should have posted long ago, but it’s only now it crossed my mind to compose.
It is indeed a right bugger, when one moment a surge of inspiration descends upon you and another moment, it’s completely vanished like a wisp of smoke in the wind. Many of us have experienced this at some junction of our lives in some field of literary work. I, myself, experienced this when some time back I had started on a manuscript which was flowing effortlessly, until my focus was diverted in helping someone who felt he was dying as a result of severe stomach distress. As a person’s life is more important than my words on paper, I naturally set aside my work to attend to this soul. After a few intense weeks of helping the person (even when I myself am afflicted with an excruciating health condition) he began to feel improvement and I lost all inspiration to complete what I thought would be my fourth book.
The point is, this kind of creative slowdown or shutdown can happen, when circumstances I described above arises, or in cases of adverse conditions such as financial difficulty, relationship breakups, pressure to achieve, stress, mental or physical illness etc.
So what to do when unforeseen things like this happens?
I can only speak for myself, as we are all different and our coping skills are no exception to this rule. I simply leave the work be, abandoning the fear of ‘if I don’t push myself or force the issue’ I will never write again. We are always writing. The only difference in our stages of work, is in those whose works are recognized by the greater public and those whose works remains incognito. If it is our natural inclination to write, the inspiration will return and we will continue to write and if it is our karma/destiny to get it published, it will. Even a tiny bit of faith will help support our cause.
We should make endeavours to achieve what we want (unless born with a diamond fork in our mouths) but I don’t believe we should over-endeavour. I am a firm believer in the philosophy that says ‘whatever we are meant to have, we will have it, ultimately.’ Only time and patience, separates it.
Often, we are in dissonance of what it is, exactly, that we are put on this Earth to do. But I feel that when we are compelled to do something, it means we ought to embrace that journey. If severe adversities manifests such that we are unable to proceed as we intended, then we have to question whether it’s destined or not. I don’t believe in forcing the mind or the brain to write a book, when the inspiration is not there. But a book will write us, when it’s meant to manifest on paper.
I have written three books and I still don’t know if that’s what I’m meant to be doing to maintain my life. I love to fix up old bicycles. Put me in a shed full of them with some fixing tools and I feel as though I’m in heaven. Some of us concentrate our efforts on one thing and some of us on multiple things. It’s for us to check our pulse and ascertain where and how we fit into this spiral of life. But don’t, in the name of ‘pushing myself,’ tip over the edge and spiral down. I am paying the price for this with failing health. Be reasonable in your approach. Nothing is worth making yourself ill for, in the guise of ‘achieving.’
Blessings and light 🙂