I am writing this at 01:46 AM. This is past my usual bedtime hour.
It is happening again, a burst of inspiration.
I feel it in my body – heart rate is up, fingers are tingling. Interesting how our body reflects the activity of our mind.
Lately, I have had some changes in my relationship with photography, call it a three-year itch. This culminated into a resistance to continue or finish ongoing projects and a passive mindset towards new projects.
I tried out different things to battle it, but the undercurrent of resistance seemed to stay. Until it suddenly happened again, a nightly burst of inspiration. These bursts happen to me now and then. An active energy going through me, often wild, often chaotic.
Almost always they come at night, these bursts. Sometimes centred on photography, sometimes not. I have made all kinds of important life decisions during such bursts and have learned to trust them.
It’s up to me to decide what to do with it. Sometimes, I get up and write a short note. I go back to bed. My mind keeps working full speed. I get out of bed again, write more. Sometimes, tired of getting in and out of bed, I resign and keep lying in bed, hyperactive. By the time morning comes ideas are forgotten and I don’t know anymore what I meant with that random note (sometimes written in the dark, so my handwriting is all over the place).
Other times, I fully embrace it, get up and give in to the energy. Write things, draw sketches, start internet searches in search of something, not necessarily sure what yet. I am going with the flow, trying to catch the concrete idea that is waiting somewhere, just outside of my reach. Maybe after the next scribble, note or search, it will become clear.
These bursts seem to come only when the resistance is low. This time, I had an open mind after a blissfull weekend with my sister not thinking about projects, just wandering around, enjoying the sun, going wherever we wanted to go. Resistance thought it was safe to lower itself as I seemed to be doing other things anyway. Then the night came and I became agitated. Usually my body feels the inspiration before my mind can grasp it.
I started writing down keywords for my planet project. I have been struggling to find a good title and it had pressured me (because titles are important). TITLE BRAINSTORM had been written down multiple times as a to-do item in my bullet journal, but days always seemed to end before I could get to it. Resistance playing its role again. Now, because my mind was open, I decided to just jot down some words before going to bed. And there it was, that burst of inspiration. I formed some new titles, which led towards other ideas for other projects and did some internet inspiration searches for other things.
I can’t tell yet whether these things will turn into tangible end results or finally a title. Tangible results, however, are not the goal of these nights. During these nights, I just need to use that energy and formulate new ideas or brainstorm on decisions. It is up to the scepticism of my morning brain to turn these ideas into something tangible and to separate the cheesy ones from possible good ones.
In conclusion, here are my conclusions for inviting inspiration bursts to hit you:
- Clear your mind
- When mind is clear and resistance is low: kickstart your inspiration by doing something. Anything. Something small. Write down one idea, sketch one possible new photograph you’d like to take. Look up that one program or competition you heard about. Edit one picture.
- Listen to your body. When you are getting agitated, you might be on the right track. Don’t ignore it. Continue with what you were doing. See where it leads you.
- Give in to this inspiration energy. Even when it’s night, take advantage of it. You won’t be able to sleep well anyway if you don’t get this out of your system one way or another.
- Don’t let your sceptical morning self be judgmental about the wildness of your night ideas. Instead, use it to turn them into concrete steps. Filter through the bad ones and find that one gem.
- Or if you are a daredevil, avoid morning scepticism by taking action steps in the night. This might or might not be a good idea. That is what I am doing now, by finishing and publishing this post in the night.
Do you experience these kind of inspiration bursts too? When do they come to you? What do you do with them? I am very curious to find out whether you experience something similar or something completely different when it comes down to inspiration.
By now it is 02.51. Time to get to bed. Unless the inspiration will bubble on some more. Let’s find out.