The other day while scrolling through Twitter I came across the following quote by Stephen King from his avowed classic (which I admittedly haven’t read all of), On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft:
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
Having long thought I needed inspiration in order to write anything of substance I spent many hours mulling this sentiment over. Two things are immediately clear: I am an amateur and Stephen King is an amazing writer. And yet, I still couldn’t help disagreeing with this quote, at least in a certain light. I think we all need inspiration of some sort, something that leads us to the desire to write, be it money, love, sex, escape, loneliness, exploration, confusion, or any other number of drives/emotions. Now, yes, I am taking the quote without any context and perhaps King addresses this point in the book, but I cannot understand writing existing without inspiration.
One thing that has always inspired my writing is music, and so I started a recurring series on this blog called Music To Write To, highlighting lesser known artists and bands that I feel are conducive to my writing process and help to get me into and stay in the right headspace. Everything is the result of the coming together of the correct causes and conditions, no? No writer writes alone, he or she writes with the accumulation of every moment they have ever lived behind it, there is no vacuum that one enters when they sit down at a desk. There is no isolated uninspired arena which can produce writing.
And one of the most inspiring artists I’ve come across recently is Ilya Beshevli, a young composer from Siberia. In 2014 he put out the record Night Forest, a beautiful and haunting neoclassical piano-driven work. I discovered him at #100 on The Silent Ballet’s Top 100 Records of 2014 and was immediately enraptured. So far I’ve worked my way through about half of TSB’s list and Beshevli’s record remains a clear stand out for me. It is the perfect thing for allowing the creative side of my brain to flow though memories and dreams and words and inspire them to be put down on paper.
Here he is playing on a street in Siberia:
And in a slightly more formal setting:
So this is what is currently inspiring me while I write, what about you?
More on Beshevli: