A friend recently asked me how I stay inspired to write every day. What keeps my creative mind humming?
The answer is... I have no idea. I don't possess one of those always-inspired, manic brains that simply churns out gem after gem. I have something altogether different.
For me, as a writer, there are two types of days:
Type 1: Ideas come to me, and I feel that they need to play themselves out, through me. These are 'portal' days, where I'm listening to the messages from the great beyond. And they push me into the chair. These are the good days. But they're rare.
Much more common, 98% of the time, it's:
Type 2: I started something yesterday in a fit of creative clarity, but now I don't feel 'inspired'; in fact I'm fairly grumpy, or anxious, or I didn't sleep well, or I have a thousand other things competing for my attention. But I must resume working on it, because that is the only way it will ever be finished. And if I never finish it, I will float down into a spiral of self-loathing and inner cruelty, and wind up alone, herding cats, and calling them my babies. So I push me into the chair.
In other words, I am a hostage to the creative process. Type 1 days lure me in. Type 2 days keep me in bondage.
But I'm lucky. Because there are 3 things that make me perfectly situated to writing:
1. I love making shit up; always have. Writing is an outlet for what would otherwise be known as Pathological Lying... which is kinda nice.
2. I'm prone to a bit of self-loathing. But writing, as it turns out, is the antidote. By writing, I have a real, live, concrete way of 'fighting' those feelings of worthlessness, or smallness, or whatever it is. Writing is my weapon. I keep the demons at bay... by feeling productive.
3. I grew up with three fastidious, Type A people, and at some point they converted me (mostly).I hate a cluttered living room, or not knowing exactly (to the penny) how much money I have. I'm exacting. I want it to be perfect. I have high standards. This is really, really helpful when writing (and editing). There's always something more to do to the stuff I created on that Type 1 day, because it has to be perfect.
On Type 2 days, all 3 of these things help. They assist in the arduous process of applying butt-to-chair.
So ... that's a long answer to the short question of 'how to be creative or inspired every day': I'm not. For me, it's about capitalizing on that 1 day per month where I feel inspired, and then reminding myself how awful I'll feel if I don't apply my fingers to the keyboard on the other 29.