Letters of Inspiration

Letters of Inspiration: I

Sometimes inspiration can be found everywhere and sometimes, catching it is like trying to collect rain water with only a pasta strainer by your side.

I’ve known Yvonne de Jonge, artist and founder of the blog Visual Strands, since I started my own site years ago. We met on Instagram, (read Yvonne’s awesome Q&A on me here) then lost touch. She lives in the Netherlands, I live in Newport Beach. Such is life in a digital age stuffed to the hashtagged brim.

This summer, in an effort to revitalize our own creative efforts, we started thinking how we might collaborate again. Both suffering from a dearth of inspiration, I said, “Let’s email each other about the current state of our creativity and see what comes from the back-and-forth conversation.” Maybe, I added, we could publish our exchange in series of posts to provide inspiration not only for both of us but also anyone who reads it. (Expect “Letters of Inspiration” each Friday.)

So, grab some coffee, open a bottle of wine, here is the result of that idea … or at least Pt. 1 …

August 14, 2017

Hi Melissa,

How have you been? So yes, your idea on ‘the ebbs and flows of inspiration’ is always an interesting one as far as I’m concerned. In fact, it couldn’t be more ‘on point.’

Can I be honest with you for a sec? I’ve just spent the last two-and-a-half hours trying to write this email and so you could say that I’m in definitely ‘in the ebb’ of inspiration. Nothing interesting came from my keyboard. Coffee didn’t help.

And I’m really interested in what you have to say! What’s happening?

The daily grind of ‘everyday work’ has been stumping my creative thinking a lot lately. Without getting into it too much, I’m in an in-between phase, switching ‘careers’ and working (and feeling tired) a lot. It will be fabulous eventually, but um yes, this year and the beginning of next year I’ll still just be working working working. After that though: a whole new beginning! Scary but such a relief and super exciting as well.

Okay, enough about me. (Seriously, *rolls eyes.*)

You’ve been a busy bee lately. And I saw that Little Word Studio is a team now, with the addition of Rachel Landen. What else is happening in your world?!

Two-and-a-half hours (okay, so I deleted a lot). Ouch.

In short: Help me out a little and get the ball rolling?

Thankyouthankyou.

Best,

Yvonne.

August 14, 2017

Yvonne,

I completely understand where you’re coming from. I too am in the phases where everything seems like it’s just WORK. I can appreciate the 6 a.m. wake-ups to get things done, the late nights, the needle moving ever so slowly you’re not quite sure if it’s moving forward or backward or even moving at all. I think it’s a struggle so many creatively inclined people deal with and especially those entrenched in social media. All I see are IG friends seemingly living a life of unconstrained creativity, free to wake up late, take a photo, write a blog post. But real life imparts structure to our existence and if you’re truly seeking creativity, you live to break free.

Inspiration (as your two-hour struggle can attest) is a continuum tied intimately to our emotional state. For me, when I’m sublimely happy or feeling utterly tragic I can’t write. I have to be somewhere close to really happy or close to really sad and that’s the sweet spot to inspire my fingers to fly. Love, I find, is also deeply motivating (and un-motivating at the same time). Bleh.

I wonder, if you’re up for it, maybe we can publish excerpts from these and see if something comes to light. “Letters of Inspiration” or something.

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