Sunday, March 11, 2012

Leave a trail of bread crumbs

On your journey to discovering and enriching your inner artist, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to pay attention to your moments of inspiration.
Your world will be filled with compromises because of your job, your family and your living situation. When a moment for your art occurs, pay attention. 
Words will leave a trail of bread crumbs you can follow back whenever you want. Write down exactly how you feel. What you see. That idea. Right now. Don’t wait. It won’t be the same... Do it at 2:28 a.m. when it startles you awake as pure genius. Do it at 3:10 p.m. when someone in the line in front of you says something that throws a different light on your idea, or at 6:05 during dinner when your mind drifts for a moment and suddenly you see the solution to that problem you’re trying to solve. Grab a little pad you can carry around, jot a note you’ll understand later. This moment is magic. Capture it before it’s diluted.
Driving in the car, standing in the shower, sitting at the bus stop... even when you have no pad and pencil, record that thought in your mind and write it down as soon as you can.  You’ll never be bored. Your art is your constant companion—a river of ideas you can tap into anytime your mind has a little space to breathe.  Tap in. Write it down. 
Later, when you read those words, written under the influence of that inspiration, you can follow the bread crumbs right back to that moment. You’ll feel the spark, see the vision, touch the reality of that dream, captured by you... for just you... and be able to act on it and fulfill the promise of that painting, poem, song, whatever!
I’ve kept journals my whole life. It’s been much more difficult since I’ve been sick, so I’ve neglected it over the past year or so, but I probably have more than a thousand pages of thoughts, ideas, inventions, designs, plus a record of events in my life. There are always surprises when I read them. Just a paragraph pulls into bright relief an episode in my life. Every page adding up to the person I am now. I want that for you.

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