It’s funny what we’ll do to find inspiration. When it comes to the creative process, it seems like all of us will do what we can to find that “a-ha!” moment. Maybe it’s exercising, or visiting your favorite place. Maybe it’s praying, or chanting, or turningto a higher power for help. We focus somuch on finding that one thing that will help us write that story, or paintthat picture, or sing that song that we’ve been dying to get out. As artists (and really also, as humans),that’s what we live for.
But,what happens when that moment hasn’t quite hit you yet? When you haven’t found that creative spark inyour life?
Asa novice writer, I can tell you that inspiration doesn’t come easy. I have one set of friends who say, “Just sitdown and write, something will come to you. What’s the big deal?” On the flip side, there is the other set who say,“No, you have to wait until something hits you. It might take time, but it’ll happen when you’re ready.” So the question is: which side do youchoose?
Fora whole year, I have struggled with these sides, teetering back and forth,ultimately just settling on not writing anything because it became such acreative battle. And, at the end of theday, it was easier to use the excuse of “I’m just waiting for some inspirationto hit.”
Ilabored under this thought until I attended our 2011 festival. It was my first year both as a writer and asan employee of AFF. Although I did notget to sit in on as many panels as I would have liked, I noticed that onecommon element seemed to stand out amongst all of the panelists: they eachspoke of at least one person in their lives who was interested in what they hadto say.There,on that final sleep-deprived Sunday afternoon of the Festival, did I finallyhave a pivotal realization: inspiration comes from the support of those aroundyou. This realization came further intoplay when our Marketing Director, Taylor, asked if anyone wanted to contributeto our blog, read by thousands of writers, attendees, and panelists alike. I hesitated to throw my name into the hatbecause I wasn’t sure what an Office Manager could say that would be of use topeople. Once again, I used the fall backof “not writing is easier”. But itwasn’t until she said that it didn’t matter what my title was or what I do atthe office every day, but that my voice is just as important as everyone else’s– that I have thoughts and ideas that should be shared. I knew that that was exactly what I needed tohear, if even for this small project, to get my creative juices flowingagain. And thus, I landed myself a spoton this lovely little blog!
Myadvice to you, dear reader/writer, is this: surround yourself with the peoplewho know what you truly want to do. Youmay not have that “a-ha!” moment today, or tomorrow, or even 5 years fromnow. But it will happen. Because of her, as well as an equallysupportive staff, I can now pass that same encouragement along to all ofyou. Sure, maybe what you have to saywon’t appeal to everyone… but I promise you that there will always be oneperson who believes in and wants to hear what you have to say. I hope that you,too, can find your inspiration through them.
— Marcie Mayhorn, AFF Office Manager