Inspiration Comes in the Wildest Places

Over the past few months I’ve been wallowing in my sorrows. Not sure where it comes from or how it started. I’ve been feeling this huge sense of latency and beguilement, hoping to find some answers from within or maybe even look for a sign.

It’s interesting to me how intspiration can come from the most unique places. Today, I was getting my hair cut at a new barber shop in the city. It’s a small, fairly nondescript storefront that serves the East Lakeview neighborhood.  As I was getting chopped, I was talking to the barber (who was no older than 28) about his upcoming trip to Alaska. Nice guy.

Upon paying him, I asked if he could break a $20. He looked and me, answering, “Sure, but how much do you want back?” (Him, taking his gratuity from the difference).

I said, “Ugh, now you’re asking me to do math!”

“That’s why I’m a stylist. I don’t do numbers.”

To which I replied, “That’s why I’m a writer, I don’t like math either.”

But then, something interesting happened. His response sort of threw me off guard, “Oh really? What types of things do you write?”

“Mostly corporate, business-oriented stuff. Human resources policies, newsletters, some items for our website. Stuff like that.” I’m not sure why I played down what I do. Perhaps, in some way, I wanted it to sound more creative and artistic than it really is.

I would never really know his exact thoughts but by the weird grimace I could see on his face, I’m sure it fell along the lines of, “I’m not sure if that sounds somewhat boring, or really boring.” And, to be honest, I agreed with him.

I’m not quite sure why I classified myself as a writer. I do write for work, but not as often as I’d like. And the things I do write are immensely flat, due to the fact I’m writing about an organization with a bunch of older white men, the lawyer who is my boss, and the legal team that tears apart everything I try to distribute. (To those in the corporate communications world, you know of exactly what I speak). I’ve not published much outside of this blog (which has been lackluster at best) and I barely write outside of work. I like writing but like so many other artists, the question always becomes, “What do I create?”

I guess a little inspiration, as well. Would my struggle for creativity simplify itself if I had a muse? Would flow arrive more readily if I focused on a consistent theme? I see the art of writing as an outlet; as an expression. My hope being that in some fashion, the words I write may inspire someone else, give a person a new perspective on a situation or discover an entirely new part of themselves. Too much? No, I don’t think so.

And yes, I know. Practice makes perfect. Writing only becomes better when you work at it…a lot. I also know that I could pound out a thousand words a day, work on a piece over and over again, and NEVER get it to perfection. To me, writing is never a completed piece of work. And, typing on a computer-because of its easy editing ability-only makes those revisions more tempting. It’s how my brain works.

Perhaps it was time for my brain to turn “on” once again. Maybe it was that Timmy told me exactly what I needed to hear. Even more simply, maybe I need to pay more attention to the things around me, think a bit more simplistically, and take a step out of the rat race. What ever the case may be, I’m making a pledge to post at least one post per week. Thanks, Timmy, for triggering the kick in the butt I probably needed.

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