Before the moment has flown


One of the things that I have learned in my creative life: the muse will visit you at the most unexpected times.

One of the things I need to un-learn in my life: the little voice in the back of my head that says “do the chores first.”

It never fails. I’m cleaning the bathroom, washing dishes, vacuuming, or doing some other completely mundane yet necessary task. And — BLAM! — inspiration comes zooming in out of the blue. A creative epiphany.  A gift from the gods!

BUT…

There’s that “necessary” task I was in the middle of… Let me just finish this, and then get to that, and maybe tidy up something else, and then later I’ll get to that creative thing…

BUT…

By the time I get this and that and the other thing out of the way, the muse has flown. The inspiration is gone. The words are lost.

The lesson here, despite being terribly trite, is to strike while the iron is hot. You may never get a second chance. You may never have that same opportunity again. Whether it’s writing, or painting, or calling up a long-lost friend, or giving your kid an impromptu bear hug, do it when you’re inspired to do it. Whatever it is, it is a gift from the gods, so treat it as such. Take the few moments to act on that inspiration, and then go back to what you were doing.

The mundane stuff will always be there. Those rare precious moments may not.


Colleen Clifford

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