Hello all! Welcome back to this blog.
Let’s talk about writing… and about using different sources of inspiration to better ourselves and our writings.
Why do we need to inspire ourselves to create? Why do we find that our artistic output to be a blueprint of who we are?
We write what we know.
Yes, I know this idea has become so commonplace that it is seen as just a cliché without any worth to it. It is cliché, if we do not understand what it means, and do not make an effort to recognise what it stands for in our work. It is a cliché if we just throw it around, without fully grasp what it means, and how we need to use it.
But that it’s not how I perceive it to be.
Write what you know stands for: To recognise what make us ourselves, and to see it in our creative work.
And these are two difficult things to do. To know our ways, to build upon them, and to see all of it in what we create.
Ultimately, I believe that we will not be able hide who we are in any creative output. So, it is indeed revealing.
And not just to know others… But this is a different theme, that you can read more about in the post Know Thy Human.
When we practice painting, for example, we put in the hours of work until our style is recognisable. Until we, ourselves, and our identifiable style comes through our work. We choose to create/reproduce images in a way that is familiar to us, and that ends up representing our personal style.
Some painters bodies of work are gloomy, others are colourful, others are free style, or nature inspired, some are impressionists, others are modern, and so on…
It is the same process for us writers.
We start writing something, in whatever means, genre, or format, and as we put in the hours, our style becomes more and more defined. We start perfecting it, even if we do not have a sense that we are doing this betterment process. And, some time later (10 000 hours later?!) we get a sense that our output has changed, our way to deal with subjects has changed, our style has evolved. We have abandoned some things, and took upon us to enlighten ourselves in others.
If we keep at it, eventually our style will be recognisable to the people that read our work.
While we are at our practicing periods, we end up feeling that we need inspiration from other people’s works. So, we go in search of it.
This process of looking for, contemplating, learning and appreciating, other works — paintings, conversations, views, sculptures, books, and all sorts of activities that get inside ourselves, — begins. And then, its revelations come forward through our writings.
To each one of us, some mediums will be more appealing than others. Some ideas resonate more than others. Some mediums might be more suitable than others.
Some will love poetry more, while others find that listening to nature sounds are more suitable for their creative processes.
For example, I have been enjoying a documentary on YouTube that I suggest you to a look: Anselm Kiefer: Remembering the Future
I always find myself attracted to big, dark, dystopian works. Maybe, because I usually find myself engrossed in heavy feelings, whichever the means they are presented in. I appreciate the subtleties of how different people respond to personal history, and how it influences their creative process.
But, to look for ‘knowing more‘ shouldn’t be a chore.
Most of this research isn’t consciously chosen.
We follow things that make sense to us. Things that makes us crave more knowledge, that we feel passionate, and just need to know more about.
We do not think, let’s go and look at some paintings, or some documentary, and maybe I will feel inspired to write. No! We might expose ourselves deliberately to a work of art, but how it interacts with our creative processes is something beyond the cognitively perception that we will be influenced by it.
And this is why we gain in exposing our minds to new experiences. And not just the good, happy stuff. All the bad and gritty things we will look upon, will come bearing fruits. There’s a most likely chance that the less obvious thing, will not be overlooked. It will not be discarded, even if we do not like it, because it will build upon on some point, that we will find suitable to make in our works. We will use the knowledge, to prove or disprove it. It will become our own.
As we live, we will learn to recognise more of what influences us. And we will learn to find explanations, so very different from what we thought they would be, and to discover other ways of living through other people’s art. And, ultimately we end up incorporating and using knowledge, that we didn’t even knew we consciously had gained. And our work will be better for it.
Our writings will be better at each instalment of novelty. At each knew discovery of something we love, as well as of something we hate.
If we see more of whatever it is that we find appealing, or repellent in this world, we will surely have it seep into our works. That’s why artists always navigate toward a specific worldview, which comes through in their works of art.
People who have seen war, fighting and death, will be more inclined to use those themes in their works. People who fancy a more nature inclined living, will make art using that. People who are dumbstruck by people’s extreme acts, will try to make sense of it all, and so on…
Finding different sources of inspiration, helps us know more about what encircles us and about ourselves, and therefore, define our style in a more personal way.
Let’s open up to ways to invite novelties to us. Let’s accept hardship and struggle. Let’s invite knowledge in, so we may get it all out of ourselves through our creative work.