When I was starting off writing (and probably long before that) I thought that art was only true and worthy if it was produced during a wave of inspiration. That moment all artists were praising and longing for. When the muse comes to visit and they produce a masterpiece.
Some wind up waiting for years. For decades. They never start or they start and then stop. But the important thing is at the end, they have created a true work of art.
It was only recently that I came to realize how flawed this understanding was. I would shy away from planning, I would love most the pieces I’ve created while in the flow.
I would wait for more.
But at one point it became evident that I would get nowhere if I was only relying on muse. It visited me rarely and once it was gone, I was lost.
And the muse did serve me well for shorter pieces. Poetry and blogs like this one. It was when I attempted long-form writing that I found myself unable to finish anything.
So I thought, there must be another way. At that time I was organizing my whole life so things kind of came together naturally.
I didn’t have to dig too deep to find out that there were quite a few authors who have thoroughly planned out their books before writing them. And they were still a success.
For some, this might be no surprise at all. In the end, every person winds up creating art in their own way. I was just putting far more value on art created by the governance of unpredictable and unstable inspiration.
And now I see that there is no real and fake, no right or wrong way to write and to create art, to live. There is what works and what doesn’t.
And I am so glad I’ve found what works for me. This post was written by the seat of the pants, but I’m gonna go plan my book now.
Art does not become “real” by the means it was created. It becomes true art when it touches you, when it makes you think.
And if it is a masterpiece, it might even change you.
For the better.