After all the talk about searching for inspiration, I thought it might be fun to talk about the other end of the spectrum. When the dam breaks, and you are completely overwhelmed with ideas, with energy, with a compulsive desire to create.
I think for a lot of artists, work tends to happen in a cycle. A dry period after the completion of one work when the artist is drained and exhausted - particularly if you have done the work by burning the candle at both ends. Then the miserable period of getting yourself up off the floor again - when it feels like you will never be inspired again, ever.
But the dam does break.
It's because artists regard this frenzied period of work as the normal state that it is usually glossed over. People rarely talk about this active creative phase - for one thing they are busy doing it (and don't have time for a blog whinge - Facebook is the exception) and because they often feel perfectly happy to work in isolation without crowing about it. (Mind you nothing gripes me more than hearing on Facebook about how writer X has done 10,000 words today when I can't open the laptop).
South-east Queensland is experiencing one of the wettest periods in half a century. All the dams (which were bone dry 18 months ago), are literally full to bursting. They are so full that water is being released, even though - in combination with the Brisbane river tide - this is expected to cause flooding in Brisbane. The city and region around it has already experienced significant flooding, with scores of swollen creeks blocking roads, cars abandoned at crossings, mud slides, abandoned homes. The wettest period since the lead up to the infamous 1974 flooding - and it's not even the wet season yet!
The picture is of Somerset Dam, which is one of the dams releasing water at the moment.
Back to the main theme: It's a good idea to do some planning for when the dam breaks. Depending on your situation, it might be worth being ready to negotiate some extra 'alone-time' with the family, perhaps book a room at Sarah's favourite hotel, or perhaps take time off work (if your work is flexible that way).
Having been brought up by harsh parents who were extremely black and white, I tend to think I can go about things like a robot - doing the same amount of work no matter how I feel. That's handy when breaking through a hesitation to write (I don't believe in writer's block), but it has the downside that I don't recognise my own natural patterns. Creativity and 'lumpish' work flow go hand-in-hand.
So how do you prepare for the flood? Do you have a garret ready for when the Muse strikes?