Inspired By The Personal. Challenged By The Same.

In my popular post from two days ago I committed to begin sharing the things that inspire me creatively, as well as the things that challenge me. After I hit publish, I had a pang of trepidation, a gut check: “What the hell am I doing? Now I’ve really put myself in harm’s way. I’ve either got to pretend I know what the hell I’m talking about or struggle thru this ongoing series and say what I believe, one post at time. Simple or complex, refined or juvenile.

And then it hit me. That’s exactly why I hit publish on Sunday night. I was motivated to look more deeply within at what’s motivating the pictures I’m taking. I found a little crack in the shell and I held it apart just long enough to say, “this has got to be done”. So here I go, destined to struggle thru this series, one post at a time.

At one time or another, we all get sideswiped by that little internal voice. It is that nay-saying voice that’s so often the barrier between each of us and our creativity.

Shedding that calculated, censoring voice, is one path to success.

Read more after the jump – click the ‘continue reading’ link below …

A second path comes not in the negation of a voice, but in the acceptance, the humble, strong moments when we actively and WILLINGLY embrace our struggles and passions to find moments of clarity.

Truthfully, I’ll take either path whenever I can get it.

I think that the majority of us–from time to time, in whole or in part–find our potential creative motivators falling into two categories. One pile of us thinks our lives or thoughts or desires or fears are entirely too weird, unusual, or unsafe to be interesting. The other pile of us thinks of our lives or thoughts or desires or fears or motivations as far too normal to be interesting.

Both are bullshit.

C’mon, honestly: Was your drug-addicted, inner-city childhood and your bisexual father too far “out there” to address as motivation for your art? Or was your second-string-on-the-football-team suburban youth and your lost-your-virginity-at-19 upbringing just too white bread to cultivate even one emotional blip on your radar?

Entirely not true.

I’m guessing you’re putting yourself somewhere on that spectrum and unjustly declaring, however quietly to yourself, that your story and all the juices that are percolating inside of you have little creative value, whatever they might be, insignificant or monumental. I say turn off your sensor. You can and should draw powerful inspiration from nearly any personal experience, so long as you’re honest with yourself.

Easier said than done.

For me, this post is part of this process. It takes work. Stressing my muscles helps them grow.

We are more than the sum of our parts. Can we seize those fleeting, honest little moments, whether they’re warm and fuzzy or cold and prickly, and let them drive us?

The one thing I know right at this minute is this: the only chance in hell that any of us have for making even a single piece of art that stops people in their tracks begins with intention and a deeply serious introspection. Sure, I’ll share my other motivators, inpirators, and fears in subsequent posts, I promise. But for now, do yourself a favor and agree with me that–cliches aside–the meat of the creative matter lies within. It’s your personal stamp that counts the most, and everything else is–ultimately–secondary at best.

Now I’d better hit publish before I remind myself that I’ve got nothing interesting to say.

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