I asked myself why people crowd into this small (46.9 square miles) area, piled on top of each other (over 17,000 people per square mile) to be here? Inspiration, free-thinking, uninhibited expression—take your pick.
I was in need of inspiration and this visit did not disappoint.
Lately, I’ve been noting that many writers/bloggers are getting tired of the tread mill of blogging-promoting-marketing (even Jane Friedman has called it quits from blogging for the moment) and still trying to get their works in progress completed (me included). Inspiration wanes in the constant output and effort that affords no let up.
What if we changed up our thinking?
Sometimes we get stuck and don’t know how to proceed because we’ve been on a certain path and can’t find the next opening. It appears blocked in front of us as far as we can see. You know the phrase, “straight as an arrow?” Well we might take inspiration from the outback, indigenous people by thinking, “bent like a boomerang.”
What if we moved from rut thinking (you know, staying in the grooves or on the tracks along the same time worn paths) to meandering for a while? Think of the term, walk-about. There is no set goal, there is only exploration. Being open to what might come, by not being goal oriented, we can stay open to what our own creative self might like to offer up. Don’t think of this as the opposite of goal-oriented thinking—maybe just a break from said thinking.
Last year, I read Daniel Pinchbeck (The Return of Quetzacoatl) and the underpinnings of my mind were changed forever. Sometimes we need inspiration from places we would not ordinarily look; we need to keep our minds open to new ideas so they can come in and find room to play.
If the 60s in
did anything, it changed my 'rut thinking' forever. Perhaps what is needed is
some exposure to different ideas; new ways of looking at our writing
problem. Nothing will 'un-stick’ us if we stay on the same path when a detour
Shaman meandering or quest seeking might be in order. Try exploring, traversing strange ground, maybe learning something new to pry open the mind and heart to see the world in an expanded way. Change of place helps because we can get a different view of the world if we take the shades off and really enter into it. If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll keep getting what we’ve been getting.
The thing with inspiration is that it comes in its own good time. There is the school of thought that we must keep on banging away at getting down those words (if a writer) but as an artist we also require inspiration and that doesn’t always come on our time schedule. While most of the time it comes while “beating the bush” (by writing, writing, writing), we have to recognize that sometimes and/or for some people what is needed is some meandering with no rigid schedule or straight jacket to-do list.
San Francisco visit inspired me to take another sip from my eclectic cool-aid once again and journey into the wilderness for some new inspiration. Since finishing the series on character building for writers, through astrology and the Tarot, I've been wanting to do a series on the Tarot
as the path to creativity (or whatever shows up).
So next post (or maybe the one after), I will start with the history of the Tarot—ideas about where it came from, why it was created and what we can learn from it. Then we will travel a new road each week, along the Tarot's path, to see what we can glean for our creative needs. Hope you join me on that journey across the eclectic ethers.
Are you stuck right now? What do you do for inspiration or to motivate you?