I love the book The Art of War.
A little backstory on an experience I've had, or a state of mind that I've experienced. There was a point in my life when inspiration had struck me. I took it for granted. I thought it would last forever.
When I was younger the dream was to be in a rock band. I loved everything about the idea. The lifestyle, the attitude, the fun, it just embodied everything that I wanted.
My first real song I wrote on the guitar was a song about my Dad and lost youth. When my Dad divorced my Mom at the age of 5 I lost a little of myself. When I was 12 and my Dad died I lost a lot of myself. I think I was 17 when I wrote the song about the loss of my Dad and the loss of what was real within me. The real part within me that seemed to leave and was replaced with numbness and confusion. So that was my first song.
My second major song was to the girl of my dreams that dated me the summer after junior year in high school. She went out with me for three months and I went out with her for five years. She broke up with me right when school started I believe. I cried, I wrote a love song. The song was mostly about how she was great but when she left me she made a pretty bad mistake and she basically didn't know what she was doing.
I wrote a few other a few more songs over the next couple years. Then there came a point when my band was playing all the time. I hit bottom with alcohol. I quit drinking. I started writing. Feelings were coming out left and right and the guitar was there to filter them into song. The band was there to make the songs come alive.
This is the good part. Because I was playing so much music and writing so much, a strange phenomenon began to take place. I couldn't stop. Songs were coming to me from nowhere. I would write one and then another would be right there. I could write 3 - 4 songs a day. I remember knowing that I could write as many songs as I wanted, I just had to sit down and do it.
I had a band and they could only learn so many songs. We wanted to record a CD and we could only put so many songs on it. I remember thinking that I was writing too many songs. I was actually telling myself to not write so much. Just concentrate on what you have.
This space is the greatest place an artist can hope to be and I was there. I was there and didn't realize what I had. I took it for granted and after a few years I slowly lost it.
The songs were gone. The channel was turned off and only then did I realize how special of a thing I had. That was 15 years ago and I think back often to that time and wonder if I could ever get there again.
Today songwriting isn't my playing field. I've declared my sport to be comedy and I've been wishing that I can reach that place that I was once at when I was younger writing songs.
I love the book The war of Art. This book explains what happened to me when I was younger. The artist needs to create. There's no worse feeling than the one of an artist who doesn't create. The Art of War basically says that you can't wait for inspiration. The artist must sit down and make art. The writer must write. It doesn't matter if your art sucks or your writing is terrible it's the act of doing it that brings you to the new realm. The realm where angels whisper in your ear. The realm where the art is so good that it's not even coming from you. The place where the art is just a matter of dictation. The Gods are there ready to give you greatness but you must meet them on the playing field.
The playing field is where the magic happens. If you know what your passion is or what you are good at then focus on that. Everyday. Do the work and don't worry if it's crap or not. If this is truly your field then the brilliance will come but only if you have the balls to do it.
I'm going to write and I'm going to talk to the angels. I'm going to dance with them in the realm of stoniness. I'm going to trip balls with the deities, and will translate their words into human ones.
Either that or I'll write a bunch of crap.
The point is the inspiration comes when the work is being done in the field you excel at.
So fuck off and go write something!