Waiting For Inspiration?

At first look this quote by Chuck Close, a very talented and revered artist of our time, is a put off.

It definitely made quite a few of my optimistic, full of life, and motivating Facebook friends march full force on my page, RIDE OR DIE,  to prove the case for inspiration and how EVERYBODY needs it.

I get that. At first look, I want to resist this quote too, but that’s not what this is about. It’s not saying inspiration is bad. It’s not saying people don’t benefit from inspiration. It’s more about showing up and doing the work.

Have you ever met a painter that can only paint when inspired? A writer who can only write in the perfect setting-a perfect desk, in a specific room under a certain light with specific music. To hit a bit closer to home, what about a blogger than can only post new content under specific conditions?

Most of us can think of someone. Right now, as far as blogging, think of me. I’m a bit inconsistent since I started a month ago, but I’m working on getting better.

Since starting this blog, I’ve watched a lot of ‘How to’ videos paying  most attention to the people with huge followings like Michael Hyatt. In his video about growing a following, his advice made me think of Chuck Close’s quote. Actually, in most of the videos one tip is recurring–Consistency and process. Showing up and creating–No matter what.

Michael talks about how even after years of blogging he sometimes feels that he has run out of ideas or things to write about, but when he just starts writing. . . about anything, he eventually finds his topic. That is not inspiration, it’s process. Michael is finding his inspiration through the process of showing up and doing the work.

That is essentially what Chuck Close means when he says “Inspiration is for amateurs–The rest of us just show up and get to work.”

He goes on to talk about artists he’s known who spend years planning and building the perfect studio to create in, but then what often happens is they start planning and building another newer, bigger studio. So much time is spent planning the perfect setting to create in, but not much is getting created.  Check out this article  for more information about Chuck Close and his take on creating.

This quote and interview has rooted in my mind since hearing it on NPR last month because I see how it applies to all aspects of life, whatever we have chosen to do or to create. What if a surgeon only did surgeries, or did his best work when he felt inspired? Think about it, if you are the one under that knife, that surgeon is expected to show up and do their best work no matter what’s going on in life.

This quote has begun to echo in my mind daily. When I’m at work and I feel myself dragging because I feel tired, sick, frustrated or uninspired I’ve started to tell myself “Inspiration is for amateurs–Just get it done.”

When I’m home and I’m avoiding sitting down to write because I can’t figure out how I want to approach a topic. “Inspiration is for amateurs–Just start writing.”

When I’m not in the mood, let’s face it–I’m not perfect and sometimes I’m just tired or want to do my own thing, but my stepsons need my help with a project or just want to talk. “Inspiration is for amateurs–Just be there.”

I hope that by reminding myself regularly, I become more consistent in all that I chose to do.

What do you think?


Blog Quest: Am I Vanilla Ice?

Only a week has passed since coworker, Morgan Locher, started her blog recently and inspired me to finally figure out how to start my own.  The past week has taken me through the following steps as I learn.

  • Bought a domain. Bought 6 domain names. reading and watching videos about branding. What if I want to build a brand one day? I only started this to learn, write, and have fun, but I’ve got 6 domains, just in case. Or maybe i have 6 domains to overcompensate for the failings of my first one. Anyway, domain naming is where my biggest lesson lies. We’ll get back to that soon.
  • Posted 4 posts.  This is important, because while it has required more research and work than I expected, I’m writing and having fun doing it.
  • Tried my hand at illustration. So many how to videos encourage using your own photos, but I didn’t want to wait to get some good photo equipment.
  • Squealed with delight at my first follower. Screamed even louder at my first follower that wasn’t already an acquaintance, friend or coworker.
  • Anguished over blogging etiquette: What response is expected of me when I get a like, comment or follow?
  •  Laughed often–at the Vanilla Ice-ness of  my domain name.

It seems I didn’t do quite enough research before starting my WordPress account. I went in knowing two things:

1. Brand- keep it simple and try to incorporate your name

2. try to go for a .com–its easier to remember.

So there I was, staring at the domain name checker, eager to start my WordPress account. I decided to try names I’d used on other Social Media and typed. . .


Voila! First try, the domain is available!  As a “.com” too! So I took it, feeling quite proud of myself. Yes! Got my name in there, AND got a “.com.” YES! This is going great already. I’m doing this blog thing. Go Sylvia! Do a happy dance!

Later, as I went to show a friend the beginnings of my blog. She googled ‘Simply Sylvia’ and what came up was not me:

There was a Simply Sylvia who writes a fashion blog (Definitely not me), and a long list of links of people named simplysylvia+ (whatever you want to add to the end of that).

“No, you have to add the JO.” I told her and in that instant I realized, “HOLY #$@%! I’m Vanilla Ice!”

People are going to think I tried to copy this other Sylvia, and just like Vanilla Ice had to explain so many times how his Ice Ice Baby tune was different than Queen’s Under Pressure (It’s not different)I’m going to spend so much time saying “No, but mine is DIFFERENT. Mine is SimplySylivaJO! See? It has a JO!.”

This Blog quest has turned out to be more work than expected, but it’s also been more fun than expected. I’m laughing at myself as I learn, maybe you are too. I hope so, especially the other Sylvias.