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Inspiration: The Impulse To Create…

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Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.” Rita Mae Brown

Inspiration: The Impulse To Create... Creativity - Reclining Figure by Henry Moore

Why do you write, sculpt, paint, create music, anything really? What makes you write, draw, design things, create? I was minding my own business, catching up on the WP Daily Post prompts, when my eyes settled on the post  The Impulse To Create by Daryl L. L. Houston. Initially, I didn’t want to respond to it; too much work, I thought. But after I left the post and wandered on to visit other blogs, the question he raised – What makes you want to write? – lingered on my mind.

Sure, a quick answer that came to mind was obvious… I write this blog because I signed up for the 2011 challenge. True, but not entirely… I started this blog before the challenge. So why then? I asked myself. I write because an idea, an inspiration, a point of view, a story is begging to be shared… So?  Then I read Bradbury’s quote/comment below and thought… Oh, Oh! Thinking is the enemy of creativity? Hmmm… Okay, I write because I must.

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” Ray Bradbury

Inspiration: The Impulse To Create... Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

Seriously, when I put a post together, it might begin with an idea that was triggered by a prompt or an event or a conversation in my life… Sometimes, when I listen to music or hear a song on the radio or look out my window to nature, I feel an impulse take hold; urging me to follow what I see, hear, or do and write on it. At times, the topic presents itself on a whim; a casual word, a question posed by another, and I’m off and running with my muse to complete it…  I write because I must.

“Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife”  Jonathan Schattke

Inspiration: The Impulse To Create... Coloured Family Tree Gelede by Sokari Douglas Camp

For instance, I was visiting Maria’s blog,, today and read a post in which she had a picture of a cactus with a smile. It triggered something in me and part of my comment was: “Sometimes, I wonder what my plants would say to me if they could talk… I have one in particular that has moved with me for many, many years. I look at it and marvel because it was a rejected plant tossed out of a friend’s dorm room. I picked it up and nursed it back to life and it grew and grew…” As I wrote my comment, it occurred to me that a post on my beloved plant might make good copy. It’s been with me for years, has moved everywhere with me, and it’s still alive. Now that’s something to pursue if I trust the process… What about you, what makes you write? How do you create? 🙂

“Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility…” Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Inspiration: The Impulse To Create... cover of Memoir by Binyavanga Wainaina

The creative process is both complex and fascinating, and even though we might not have all the answers on what makes the process work, I agree with Rita Mae that trust is a key factor. Trusting our inner promptings and following them is an important first step, a vital starting point; the rest demands lots of work… The book shown above – One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir – by Binyavanga Wainaina is brilliant. I’ll recommend you read it. It is a work of creative genius…   What are your thoughts? What makes you want to write? What stands in the way? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: The Impulse to Create: Did you ever stop to think about what it is that makes you want to write, whether on a blog or for a magazine or in secret notebooks you hide in your nightstand?

Positive Motivation Tip: Follow your muse and create…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photos Reclining Figure by Henry Moore, Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso via Wikipedia. Colored Family Tree Gelede by Sokari Douglas Camp via Galerie Herrmann, and cover of book by Binyavanga Wainaina via

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

20 Comments leave one →
  1. 19/08/2011 12:14 am

    Great post, Eliz! I write because I love to share my ideas and thoughts and LOVE to connect with others. One of my problems is that when I comment on someone’s post, I probably write too much…it’s almost like a new post. 🙂 So that takes a lot of time and then I don’t have time to write my own. So what is the solution? I think I will read your post first thing (because it is always inspiring and gets me to think)…then comment BRIEFLY, then write my own and then, if I have time, go and read some of the other blogs I follow. I’m off to Chicago in the morning…I’m excited. 🙂

  2. 19/08/2011 1:40 am

    Great post Elizabeth. You source some amazing photos too!
    I especially love the cover of Memoir by Binyavanga Wainaina


  3. 19/08/2011 4:20 am

    I write because it gives immense satisfaction. It is a way of putting thoughts and ideas to paper( computer paper) . Also it is my communication with the world or those who want to listen. It is also making friends via the internet , people who feel as I do…

  4. 19/08/2011 4:50 am

    I am always so impressed by the effort and thought you put into your posts. It is really special. And those thoughts you come up with a a nice antidote to many of lifes pressing worries

  5. 19/08/2011 5:32 am

    I write because I HAVE to.

  6. 19/08/2011 7:51 am

    Yes, yes, yes–creativity is both complex and fascinating. It comes like a spark in my brain and then I’m off and running . . . be it sketching, paintig, photographing or writing. It’s difficult for me to understand those who don’t create.

  7. 19/08/2011 9:47 am

    When I first realized I might have a gift for writing it came out of the blue. I just found poems and stories coming out like they couldn’t get air fast enough. So much of what I write seems to write itself.

    My childrens book, The Duffy Chronicles, is a good example. Duffy was a rescue and 3mo. old when we got him. He had some odd but amusing quirks and I started coming up with the ‘whys’ for his behavior. That turned into a fun little story that has done very well since it was published. Writing the story in his voice made it even more entertaining to children. Everyone loves a talking dog, don’t they?

    Like you, Elizabeth, I will see something or read something that just gets the voices in my head chattering until I have to write it out. They used to put people away for the voices in their head… didn’t they? ;))

    Thanks for a great post and for starting the chatter in my head… again!

  8. 19/08/2011 10:53 am

    Thank you, Eliz:)
    Re: creativity and trust – Creativity gives a lot of confidence; it’s the playground where we can develop our ideas irrespective of results, and learn how to apply and modify old solutions to new problems. In countries where creative subjects were abandoned in school in favour of more “useful” ones, it took only 10 to 15 years to clearly show the deficits – and the importance of creativity. Funny enough, creativity workshops for managers etc. cost a horrendous amount of money…
    Great article!

  9. 19/08/2011 12:12 pm

    I breathe to stay alive . . . I write, paint, sing, dance, and laugh to feel alive. 😀

  10. 19/08/2011 1:06 pm

    I create because I absolutely can’t not create! Everything in the world around me feeds my need to create. Having come from a family of artists, I cannot imagine that everyone doesn’t have this need inside deep down somewhere. Look at cavemen, adorning their cave walls with images of the world around them… And thank goodness you feel compelled to write!! So that we can all meet up here and read your words and get our brains whirring!!

  11. 19/08/2011 8:49 pm

    Creativity comes from a place that saves you from yourself.

  12. 19/08/2011 9:30 pm

    I write because I must. It began last semester when I enrolled in a personal branding class. Soon after I started the blog, I realized that I loved doing it and found myself compelled to write.

    The class is over (by the way, I did get an A) and I am still blogging. No one is forcing it upon me, it comes from within.

  13. 20/08/2011 1:49 am

    Nicely said. What I thought about while reading this post is how creativity is often shaped by the response given to our creativity. When the response is favorable, we lean in that direction. When the response is less favorable we eventually adjust and change. So our creativity is often not self guided, but is guided in part by an amalgamation of responses the we perceive. IMHO

  14. 20/08/2011 11:38 am

    Inspiring. My usual triggers to create are nature, music and good books. I’m not really good in writing, I just write to amuse myself.

  15. 20/08/2011 7:16 pm

    I was going to say I’m not really a creative person, then I remembered that although I haven’t done it for a long time, I can sew and knit, very well if I do say so myself. Those are creative activities. I just have never been good at painting, singing or playing an instrument or the other “fine arts”.

    However, my triggers for being creative were necessity – to save money by clothing myself and the kids (30 years ago) well without spending a fortune!

  16. 21/08/2011 2:34 am

    “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity…” – yes, I learned this when I made focus on guitar …

  17. 21/08/2011 10:23 am

    Hmm, I don’t know why I write. Well, not exactly.
    I write because I have something to say, because I want to contribute to the conversation, to any conversation. I write because I see something that interests me and I want to know more. I write to assemble random thoughts, to (sometimes) slow them down. I write to document events in my life.

  18. 21/08/2011 12:11 pm

    This post made me re-visit a question that I had been thinking about for awhile. Why do I write? I write my blog to share ideas with others, but even before I started blogging, I journaled and wrote short stories for my own enjoyment. Writing is one of the ways that I stay balanced. Everyone needs something that provides a way for them to unwind and relax. Writing does this for me. I notice that when I miss a few days without writing anything I start to feel anxious. Writing is a big part of who I am. Blessings!


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