Inspiration Station: Pursuing new ideas without forgetting the old
By Lee Nance on June 01, 2012
Hello all! So I know that it’s been quite a while since my last post, and I can’t apologize enough for that. All those pep talks about sticking with your ideas and breaking bad habits, and then I turn around and completely ignore my blog for a solid month. What a hypocrite! What a sham!
Here’s the thing: my tendency to take on multiple projects at once dates all the way back to childhood. I could never decide which hobbies to pursue because I wanted to do everything. Rather than focusing on just one activity (like say drawing or playing piano) and getting really good at it, I tried to do it all. As a result, I have always been pretty good at a lot of things, but not really GREAT at anything. A major side effect of this has been that I often become so absorbed by whatever passion I am pursuing at the moment, that I tend to disregard everything else.
For the past month, I have been developing a series of screenplays surrounding two characters. I think about these characters when I wake up, in the shower, at work, when I attempt sleep, and nearly every moment between. Eventually I hope to complete the feature-length script through which this burst of inspiration first appeared to me, but for today I will settle for a collection of short films. I finished the first draft of the first film yesterday, but the story is far from over.
When an idea hijacks your brain and won’t let go, you have to run with it. I think that when it comes to creative endeavors, it’s ok to jump from project to project—as long as you eventually make your way back through. You can’t control what inspires you, but you can control whether or not you act on it. If you are lucky enough to be inspired by many things at once, then just do your best and see what happens.
I spent a large portion of my life waiting for some magical burst of inspiration to hit and change everything. You can’t do that. Work with what you have and create your own inspiration. Flesh out old ideas; take your time. And when eventually something new possesses you, don’t worry about leaving everything else behind. There will always be another moment when you’ll feel lost or uncreative. The power to revisit and re-inspire yourself with old ideas is always in your hands.