You can’t be moved by a presentation a week after as passionately as you could be moved the evening of. Inspiration can’t be bottled and saved up for later. Motivation is also addictive for this reason.
We love the feeling of creative potential, of assertive ambition, of being fueled with passion, but the moment the creative spark ignites, so does the lizard brain tricking us to wait until a better moment, to use our knowledge on our next project, not the one we’re currently working on.
Since we don’t recognize it’s the lizard brain speaking up, we feel bad a week later when we’re reminded about the seminar we went to and how we haven’t put to action anything we learned from it. I recall myself saying how ready and stoked I was to write my next novel after a 2-day writing conference. I never did. So what’s the best solution?
Go to another conference, watch another Ted talk, listen to another podcast episode because the energy makes us happy again, which leads to an addictive mentality, a downhill spiral of bottled up and wasted inspiration.
What has helped me prevent wasting creative energy is to remind myself I don’t need to create something huge or wait for something big to release the passion. Immediately after attending a second writing conference, I wrote an incomplete story. I spent about 20 minutes writing while I ate lunch.
Two things happened.
One, I learned inspiration is quickly spent. The creative juice waned after 15 minutes of writing, but when I first put pen to paper, I thought I was pumped up enough to write for hours.
Two, I was proud of myself later in the day and even a week later when I thought back to the conference and how I used the inspiration. Even though it was a short incomplete story about an irish boxer who had a fascination with things colored orange, I had conquered my lizard brain.
Don’t bottle up your inspiration. Don’t hang on to motivation. Put it to use, make something, write something, do something differently, and remember, it doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be.
Stay Positive & You’ll Often Come Out Even More Inspired (by yourself!)