Action vs. Inspiration

“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”- Frank Tibolt

I’ve been wrestling with issues of motivation for about a month now. The list of projects is growing to an unhealthy level, and I’m just not in the mood to do any of it. It’s finally reached a point where my weekends are spent in the company of an “I’ve accomplished” list in place of my “To-Do” list. It worked last weekend. I’ve tried to not implement it this weekend.

I came across this quote last week while suffering a real drop in motivation, and it bothered me. I find that a little inspiration can motivate me to accomplish three days of work in a single day. Action produces inspiration and innovation on the projects I’m focused on, occasionally permitting flashes on other projects.

As far I’m concerned, action and inspiration are parts of the same cycle. One does not beget the other exclusively. It just doesn’t work that way. As a teacher, I understand the concept of putting something frustrating aside to work on something else. It often allows the learner to come back after processing what they’ve learned and face the concept with a renewed amount of patience and tackle it more successfully. But I don’t think inspiration requires action to be created.

Again, I can only speak for my own creative cycles and my observations of my students. Your own experiences may vary wildly.


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