We speak a lot about inspiration when we discuss creativity. We discuss how ideas come to us, but something we do not often bring into that discussion is the notion of passion. Once we get that idea, what do we do with it? What is the motivation that carries us to final product? What takes us through the process?
I know for myself that when I become inspired and get an idea for a bit of writing or an image, I cannot wait to get started. If an idea blossoms, I might be motivated to work until maybe one or two in the morning. Sometimes an idea will shake me awake at about three a.m., and I’ll write or art until the hour forces me to get dressed and leave for work. Sometimes I’ll get to my job, and I can’t wait until my lunch break so I can continue working on the project. When this passion fires up, it propels me through to the end. Quite often the works that are forged by these fires are some of the best pieces I have created.
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk (which you can view on the Just Nous blog), she speaks about inspiration being a force outside of ourselves. It is the daemon, the genius, or the transcendent reality that operates beyond the rim of our own internal world and supplies the ideas for our creative works. Passion, on the other hand, is that energy that comes AFTER we receive the inspiration. I believe that passion is something we dig up from within and add to the mix. We supply the fire that fuels our passion to the end. We need both inspiration from without and passion from within if we are to truly engage in the creative process.
Below is another TED lecture. This one is given by author Isabel Allende. In her lecture, she talks about this passion. She talks about heart. She asks “What is truer than truth? The story,” she answers. Allende believes that the heart, which is the seat of passion, is the motivator by which stories are told and change is accomplished.
I invite you to listen to her remarks about passion and the creative process.