Thursday, April 15, 2010

On inspiration (and how to avoid it like the plague)

After two novel-length posts in a row, I figured it was time to lighten things up a bit again in here. How do I propose to do this? By sharing from my horn of plenty of ways to avoid doing what you are supposed to do, or even what you want to do.

How to avoid sudden strikes of inspiration in just three easy points:
1.1) Wait for it. As most will have realized by the age of five, nothing good comes from waiting around. If you want something, you have to grab it. This goes for cookies, and it goes for inspiration. Consequently, if you don’t want inspiration, all you have to do is sit and wait. It won’t show up in a million years.

1.2) Actively seek it. While this might seem contradictory to 1.1, it really is not. The opposite of waiting for inspiration is not to try to find it; it is to get cracking on whatever work it is you need to do without inspiration (this is of course strongly discouraged by us). If you actively seek to find inspiration, however, for instance by buying books with titles such as “How to find inspiration”, this is a sure way of avoiding inspiration. Note that we do not make any profits from the distribution of such books.

1.3) Pretend that you are not seeking inspiration while you actually are. One way of doing this is to start working under the assumption that once you get going inspiration will appear. Seeing as this is true, it is very important to abort this process in time. Make sure you have distractions available that will hinder you from working long enough for inspiration to strike.
WARNING: this method is not recommended for persons who are not easily distracted as it might lead to serious injuries if the planned distractions are failing to steal focus from work. This method is also not recommended for people who are easily confused, as it might lead to confusing confusions because you will have to pretend to pretend to protend.

If you are so unfortunate that inspiration comes around even if you take these necessary precautions, however, this is the key to avoid the unpleasant consequences of inspirations (aka work):
2.1) Ignore it. If ignored for long enough, inspiration will eventually wither away and die.

2.2) Suppress it by using your energy on other, preferably pointless, activities. Such as cleaning. How pointless is that? It will only get dirty again. Laundry? Pointless! Go naked! Seasonal activities such as cutting grass or shoveling snow? Here’s a newsflash – it will grow back/melt eventually. Thus, activities such as these are very fruitful in avoiding inspiration, since they will never end. (For information about what happens with inspiration if ignored long enough, see point 2.1.)

2.3) Challenge your inspiration by turning to superior talents. If you are inspired to write, read a book you know is better than anything you can ever hope to write. If you are inspired to paint, visit the Louvre or the MoMA and see how everything you thought you came up with has been done before. If you are inspired to collect stamps, I cannot help you. Try point 2.1 or 2.2.

2.4.) Discourage your inspiration by having harsh and unfair critique thrown your way. If your inspiration is within the field of song, apply for “[Insert country] has talent” and have Simon Cowell tell you how much you suck.

2.5) Dishearten your inspiration by telling yourself that you suck. A mirror might be useful. Mimicking Simon Cowell to the mirror might be even more useful. If you are trying to lose inspiration within the field of writing, use a red pen to draw big x’s over at least 95% of your text. Possibly while mimicking Simon Cowell.

2.6) Embrace your inspiration by pretending that you have fallen into its seductive metaphorical arms, for only to rapidly turn to point 2.3-2.5 as soon as any actual work is required.
WARNING: this method is not recommended for people who are easily inspired. Pretending to be inspired might lead to actual inspiration, and it can be extremely difficult to avoid working once you have found the motivation we all seek to avoid.

If any of the above methods do not work for you, we urge you to contact Simon Cowell for a refund of any money spent on the described methods.


Watery Tart said...

BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I love you, Mari! And thank you for the nudist plug. Though I think it was an unplug... but whatever the case, you told readers to go naked.

Cruella Collett said...

It was a conscious plug, whether it was unplugged or not (I have no idea what I am talking about...) - it did cross my mind that a certain Tart might appreciate this.

I have been actively practising points 1.1 and 1.3 for the last few days (there has been no need to turn to the 2.-ones), so I know what I am talking about!

Marjorie said...

Your posts always make me smile. I knew Tami would comment on the "go naked" bit. You crack me up!

Cruella Collett said...

Thanks, Marjorie :) I was hoping to spread some joy and to avoid spreading any inspiration (we cannot have that!)

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