In the split second that sound existed, that knocking at the front door, I hoped with every ounce that I had that it was someone, anyone, looking for me, to distract me from this task of being creative, of writing.

It was nothing more than the wind. Back to the hard part. Back to starting.

Sitting in my armchair, iPad in lap, book in hand, I was searching in vain for some sort of inspiration, some sort of motivation, a distraction from distraction. My heart wishes to write, but my head is filled with molasses, and no matter how I crane my neck, the gunk barely moves, never drips from my ears, never emptying the resistance from my skull.

Inspired by another, I once wrote that a pro always shows up. No matter how weary their bones, or broken their spirit, a pro always shows up.

But I’ve failed to do so.

I’ve sat, lazy and stupid, regurgitating any excuse I could find to not write, thinking they would hold over the muse for just long enough, that, surely, she wouldn’t leave me. I’m starting to get worried that I was very wrong.

Virgins Writing About Sex

Writing about creativity that isn’t honest is boring. Talking about a lack of creativity and inspiration while you’re feeling creative and inspired is akin to virgins writing about sex. It’s hard to remember the feeling of hopelessness that being uninspired inspires when you’ve got the creative energy to fight an army.

So let me be honest: I’m scared and feeling uninspired.

I’m scared I can’t do this. Even though I’ve been scared before and gotten through it, this time I’m scared that I’ll simply break. I’m scared that this is the time things are just too hard. I’m scared that I will always find an excuse to not do what I know I must. I’m scared that the creative habit I’m earnestly grasping at eludes me.

All That Noise

There’s always a movie to watch, a song to hear, a book to read that will inspire in us great fires of motivation and power. There’s always that thick goo in the skull that needs to be broken through, and we will always say that the best tools are ones outside of ourselves. They can’t possibly be things that we can do because the problem is in us, right?

This noise, and whatever negative thoughts are floating around, don’t go anywhere – there’s always thick oceans to fish in. We can easily fool ourselves into thinking that it’s ok to not be making because we’re getting ready to do something fantastic, we’re getting motivated! We’re just looking for that fish!

These have been the excuses that I’ve built and reinforced with my own arrogance and boundless stupidity by overly intellectualizing the problems I want to solve. This is something in which I’ve always put so much pride – I always want to prepare as best I can before starting. It’s what a professional would do, isn’t it?

I put so much effort into this, that thing which I’ve always called motivation, filling it with cheap, flimsy inspirations, or desperate ideals of what could be and what will be once I start. But motivation has proven itself to be rather fruitless – I’ve always had motivation to make, but I’ve so rarely done so.

The One Thing That Counts

Through the years of stopping-and-starting creative projects, and a library’s worth of reading and planning, including a boundless list of motivations to get started, I’ve realised there’s just one thing that truly counts.


I’m scared. But I’m starting. I’m starting small, I’m starting weak, I’m starting fearful. But I’m starting honestly. I’m starting because I know momentum trumps motivation.

Right now I’m going to start by hitting publish.