“Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” -Chuck Close
As idealists, we often feel like we need inspiration in order to accomplish something great. Unfortunately, moments of inspiration are usually few and far between. I try to maintain a normal posting schedule with this blog, and I did pretty well for awhile. Then I started making excuses for why I wasn’t posting twice a week: I was busy, it was the holidays, I needed to do more research, etc. All of that may have been true, but I had committed to myself and my followers that I would post twice a week, and not doing so meant I was failing to keep an important commitment.
Inspiration is a crucial part of the creative process, but it’s not solely what makes someone successful. Any creative who relies on moments of inspiration to fuel their work will end up disappointed. If your creative pursuits are a side hobby, maybe that’s not such a big deal. However, if you dream of finding success doing what you love, there are a couple of other key factors.
For me, one of the coolest parts about running a blog is the analytics. I like to see how each post performs and use that information to figure out what topics readers are most interested in. What I found interesting is that the articles I wrote in moments of inspiration don’t necessarily do better than those I wrote because I was sticking to a regular posting schedule.
The truth is, while inspiration may fuel our motivation, it’s nothing compared to talent. And in the world we live in, talent and inspiration alone won’t always get you very far. There’s one other factor that is perhaps the most important of all — hard work. The harder you work and the more you are willing to put yourself out there, the more likely you will find success in anything you do.
Think of it like losing weight — if you only diet and exercise for a week, then quit for a month, then get back to it for another few days, etc. it’s going to take you forever to reach your goals. But if you make an effort to eat right and work out every single day, you’ll shed the pounds in no time.
It’s exactly the same with any work you do. If you really love something, like really feel passionate about it, then work towards it every single day. Even on days you don’t want to because you won’t always want to. You’ll face rejection. You’ll deal with self-doubt. Keep doing it anyways. And not because you expect it to make you famous or powerful, but because it’s what you love and what makes you happy.
At the end of the day, success looks a lot like happiness anyways.