austinnormancore asked: Do you have any ways of finding inspiration to write when there's just nothing there?
I addressed this a little in a question about “writers’ block” a while back - nobody’s going to be feeling inspired every day, but if you regard writing as work (and regard work as a positive thing, a thing we want to do, a thing that is part of our nature: mine, anyway), then you can take inspiration down a peg or two, which is useful. Writing is work. Some degree of inspiration is needed — the initial spark, the idea, the desire to convey something to another person or to explain something to yourself. But that’s a very small amount of the process, in my view. After that it’s work — good work, valuable work, rewarding work. Asking inspiration to do the work is like trying to make bread with only yeast. You can make bread without yeast — the bread you make without yeast can still be good, the work undertaken without inspiration probably less so — but you can’t make it without the other stuff: some sort of flour, water, maybe a little salt, maybe a sweetening agent to feed the yeast. Not to get to over-precious with the metaphor but as sugar feeds yeast, lived experience tends to feed inspiration — I think people maybe misconceive of “lived experience” in this context as Big Life Events or whatever but it’s really also any thing or combination of things that takes you out of thinking about yourself and your creativity and into the realm of momentary experience, any small thing: a walk to the store, some work in the garden, an hour in the kitchen. Presumably, to finish out the details of the metaphor pre-modern style, the flour and water are the essential tools of the work: words or sentences or colors or notes, the raw materials without which inspiration is just a feeling. (I say “just,” but sometimes lately I just let that inspired feeling bubble a little, maybe save it for tomorrow: this has become a powerful practice, for me, and relates to some ideas I have about how live performance is ultimately where it’s really at.)
tl;dr: if my writing seems dry and I’m not firing on all cylinders I usually go into the kitchen and bake some bread.
Confirmed: Darnielle ‘GETS IT’.
"Take dead aim on the rich boys.
Get them in the crosshairs…
And take them down.
They can buy anything,
But they can’t
Don’t let them forget that.