“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” (Chuck Close)
I’ve been reading the quote above repeatedly over this week with two intended consequences in mind: 1) to get a symbolic kick-in-the-butt that will get me started on buckling down and clocking in the work required to get better at what I like doing, and 2) to come to terms with the amount of work that I will have to do in order to make it.
I have always been writing in some form, for some reason. I’ve always relied on words to help me understand the world around me, to come to terms with realities that are harder to accept, to make my own my daily experience of life. Over time, however, the time to write leisurely has been drastically reduced; as a result, I have not written much, nor enough to be read by a bigger audience.
Fact of the matter is, I want to keep writing. However, the inconsistent approach I’ve given it will no longer work; it’s time to get serious.