Inspiration: A Phoenix

It’s funny. I had an idea for what I wanted to post tonight. Then I sat there thinking about what I wanted to post and realized I did’t know why I wanted to post it. To be clear, I knew why I chose the topic. But, I didn’t know what I wanted to say about the thing I chose. This is incredibly vague. I am aware. I don’t want to give away any surprises because I do plan to follow through on my original idea eventually…just not tonight. 

I knew it would take too long. So I was trying to think of something that would be quick so I could technically meet my (self-imposed) Friday deadline. I didn’t want another silent weekend starter post slot. So I begin Googling to give me ideas. Yet, nothing is inspiring me. Not to sound cheesy but then it happened. I was struck with inspiration about inspiration. I realized that often the most inspiration strikes for me personally is when I have no idea what to think of. Often when I have something to think of it competes with the other thoughts going on in my brain, to the point where I can’t begin working on it. Somehow when my head has no ideas whatsoever that is when I come up with something. Even if that something is a bit odd. 

It occurred to me that inspiration was sort of like a phoenix: an idea born from the ashes of burnt out ideas. You can go round and round thinking about the phoenix imagery in terms of ideas. The phoenix is reborn from the ashes, which came from the burning phoenix. There is a start point for the cycle, as there always is: the original birth of the phoenix, the original birth of idea.

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 12.07.56 AM

From the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling. Illustration by Jim Kay. (Site: Pottermore)

There’s something so beautiful and hopeful about what a phoenix represents. Something that returns strong from something which was destroyed is a great way to think about problems. If you believe that you come out stronger after any hardships then you’ll be able to overcome them more easily. If you believe that each bout of creative struggle and creator’s block that comes your way will help to shape and strengthen your work in the future then you will begin to take those moments of block in stride and learn to embrace the difficulty to get to the good stuff. It’s an interesting little thought exercise to have. 

I’d be interested in knowing what you think. Do you get inspired from being blocked for inspiration or do you just think up ideas until one sticks? What helps you get inspired creatively? 


xx Mary

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