On Inspiration

Sometimes ideas just hit me.  The light goes on.  A song sparks an idea for a video.  A movie clip gives way to a message.  A picture leads to another picture, which leads to another picture, which takes me to an idea for a blog entry.

It’s weird.  Concrete example: Last year at the Youth Specialties conference in Austin, I saw a backdrop that was 99.9% white, with just 3 words written on it.  That backdrop led to the idea for a DNow theme: “Clean” with simple, white decorations.  And as I watching Grey’s Anatomy a month after the birth of that idea, I heard a song by Kate Havnevik and immediately pictured the video that would begin our weekend.  Similar instances happened at the camp; rarely did I ever make something because I had to.  Usually I was desperate to get the idea out; sometimes it felt like it would consume me if I didn’t do something with it.

There are other moments when I reach for inspiration.  I was just passing Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas, and I was struck by how old and overgrown the cemetery looks.  It was empty, and I got the impression that no one visits these graves anymore.  All of the stories and accomplishments are being forgotten every day.  The life really has left that place it seemed.  I thought about making a video, but nothing was coming.  I thought of getting a camera and taking pictures, but what would they be for?  The illustration is neat, but how do I connect that to a larger spiritual truth?  I was right on the edge of an idea, but then it was gone.

I don’t know how to harness my creative energy and put it to work.  Rather, I usually feel like I’m at the mercy of any ounce of creative juice that bubbles to the surface.  If anyone who reads this has any ideas on staying inspired, I’d love to hear it.  How do you jump the gap from “almost idea” to “full-fledged possibility?”  How do you stay inspired? 

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