If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I wanted to write this column about a much heavier topic. An opinion entitled Death of Democracy had been the plan for the past month, but this all crumbled with a sudden drought of ideas. The piece that I had been so excited to write quickly became one for the back burner, with the odds of being picked up once more close to none.
This is not new to me, and I’m sure many of you can relate. Inspiration becomes a slippery eel especially when you need it most… And so began the constant murmur at the back of my mind, desperately racking my brain for something else to write. Then an idea hit me at an ungodly hour as I tried my best to sleep. I had it all planned out, I swear. I even knew the points I wanted to hit, and how I was going to tackle it all.
It was close to three in the morning and my phone was stashed some distance away, just enough that it would require me to crawl out of bed. This lousy excuse resulted in an even lousier resolve: “I’ve got the idea all ironed out. I’m sure I’ll remember it in the morning.”
There’s something funny about the way we convince ourselves that our memory is better than it actually is. For some comical reason, we forget just how bad we are at remembering things and scam ourselves into believing we’re going to be better every time. Needless to say, I did not remember it come morning.
This all seems like pointless word-vomit, and maybe it is. If there’s anything I want to point out, however, it’s that inspiration is fleeting and hard to come by. It’s even rarer for those who have become so absorbed by worldly tasks. Exhaustion is a watery dye that easily bleeds from body to mind.
Perhaps you’ve noticed a similar pattern in the school corridors. A slower pace and a quick look-around would reveal the staggered steps of students walking to class, books upon books cradled in their arms adding to the weight of their backpack, and perhaps the weight of the world. Dark under eyes cast a gloomy filter on everything, that only two months’ worth of sleep can remedy. When you’re this consumed by lessons and assignments, there isn’t much room for anything else. We only really have the capacity to consume art, that is, if we do so at all. Creating art becomes a distant memory, a once-upon-a-time in high school where everything was hard, but so much easier.
Avid writers I knew, including myself, wrote less and less, until we stopped writing altogether. The nostalgia of your own poetry that now refuses to sit on paper is a different kind of heartbreak, I realized. You become stuck, longing for your creativity to come back so you could feel special again.
Maybe this is what breaks us. The inspiration so adamant on evading us might just turn us into writers with nothing left to say, or artists with far too much paint.
Maybe this is what makes us. The perseverance to find something new to create despite emptiness and misdirection might just lead us to our greatest masterpieces. Even if it doesn’t, we might find ourselves with something worth the agony after all.
So I implore you to get up at three in the morning, and write it down. Exhaust your inspiration while it is there, because this tap can run dry at any moment. Pick up the pen and write again. Dip your brushes into the water and let it all flow the way it wants to. Allow yourself to create terrible lines to make room for the great ones. Rekindle your love for creating, no matter how little there seems to be left of yourself to give.
Inspiration is fleeting, yes, but passion never sleeps.
LAYOUT BY: Chester P. Cortez