Back in high school I’d write all of the time. All over my notebooks, on the covers of dictionaries, on desks, and sometimes, even on paper. I’d scribble words, lyrics from my favorite songs, pieces of poems–basically anything that popped into my head. I never seemed to run out of words to write, they were always floating through my brain asking to be put to paper.

As I got older, however, and started taking myself and my writing more seriously, I’d hit blocks–long stretches when I couldn’t think of a single thing to commit to paper. “I’m not inspired!” I’d tell myself, and let yet another day go by without writing a thing.

When I moved to New York City for grad school, the train was my muse. Every time I made the the trek from Harlem to Brooklyn to meet with my workshop group, I’d see something new: youngsters playing Biggie on the violins, a magic show, break-dancers. The train was never dull, and my writing flourished, because, I thought, I was “inspired.”

Over the years as I’ve gotten older and writing has become less of a hobby, and more of a career, I’ve had to “inspire” myself. There are days I cannot put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and come up with a single thing. When that happens I take a step back, go to the beach, listen to music, or play legos with my son. I’ve learned that instead of letting inspiration hit me, I have to be my own catalyst to creativity.

But sometimes, when I’m trying my best to will myself to write, I do turn to a little back-up plan: music. I’ve always found that the right music can lift me up, inspire me, cause me to reminisce, or take me to a place where my imagination and creative soars. So when I need a little pick me up, I throw on my favorite album and let it move me.

But what about you Clutchettes and Gents? What inspires you?


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