Saturday, March 17, 2007

The free flow

I have this dilemma: do you always play to your strengths; or do you develop your weaknesses when your strengths fail you ?

Think of an artist: a painter. Painting is his strength --- he dreams up myriad colors; he speaks in hues and shades; his brush sparks thoughts that strike deep into the sub-conscious.
Then, suddenly, one day it is all gone. He is standing there, brush in hand, paint at bay, the canvas poised. The dreams, however, are not coming. The inspiration is gone...what does he do now ?

This is a common specter. They call it "writer's block". Even the best struggle for inspiration at times. What do they do then ? Do you sit there till inspiration returns ? Do you focus hard ? Do you walk away, admitting that your days in the sun are over; that God has taken back the gifts that he gave you. Do you lose your self-belief in the bargain ?

I see this everywhere and it is interesting how different people react to this situation. Artists, writers, musicians...they all tend to prefer taking a long break to get their inspiration back. Sports persons prefer to watch videos of more successful times to get it back. Sometimes it works; sometimes, it looks like it is gone for ever.

How would you react ? Given, we are not artists. Most of us have day jobs that do not seem to need any inspiration. But, ask yourself: are there times when getting out of bed in the morning is such a chore ? Have there been times when you hate the prospect of having to sit at your desk all day ? What have you done on those days ?
Do you wait for the free flow of things to return or do you toil away manfully ?