Don’t think! Act…

feeding-chickens-baby-cow-baby-cow-005.jpg
Feeding chickens and baby cows, acrylic on paper, Caroline Allen

How many times have I wanted to finish that short story or this next chapter or a painting and I sit for hours, days and weeks waiting for inspiration to come. How many times? Too many. ALL the time. And I know better than some, less than most, that the inspiration comes in the doing. So, I want to finish editing the climax of Earth, and I CAN’T because I DON’T KNOW HOW. Insert here a stomping little girl fit.

Well, of course I don’t know how if I just sit and think about it. That’s just not the way artistic expression of any kind works. If you do it, you will be inspired. If you sit and think about it you will be frustrated. It’s just that simple.

So, I take out the chapter, the climax on Earth, and I just start. Sentence one. Page one. What could make this sentence better? Sentence two? Paragraph one? And slowly I start to build steam and all these huge epiphanies are propelling me through the story on wings of fire. I’m soaring! I’m dreaming I’m flying over Earth the novel, over the chicken coop, the fenced off yard for the baby cows, over the house, the family working the land, and further, I’m flying across the ocean to a place where the ancestors of that family lived and I’m seeing them, and I’m witnessing the climax from a much higher and greater perspective.

And it was all because I just opened the document on my laptop and looked at it. How many hours did I sit around waiting? Days? Months? How many? Too too many.

My policy now: don’t think. Act. From action comes inspiration. Only then do the muses show up, line up to propel you on your way…

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