Chasing Inspiration


I hate running.

I hate the burning in your legs. I hate the seizing of your lungs. I hate weariness clinging to your frame.

Mentally, I’m always running. I’m sprinting down an empty road that stretches on without end, so far that I don’t even know where I’m going. When I fall, the pavement rips at my knees and shreds my palms. There is no comfort on this road, no satisfaction. But, I keep running, despite this, despite everything.

I may not know where I am going, but I know what I am chasing.

You never know if you have finally caught it until it slips away. Like a butterfly, it can delicately flutter to you and abruptly flee before you were done admiring it. It can come from anywhere and anything, but it isn’t a tangible thing you can grasp and drag along all your life. It isn’t something you can hoard and use when necessary. This thing is the most unpredictable and ever-changing thing in our reality.


Often, it comes to me in the dead of the night. In my head, my all-out sprint had slowed to the leisurely jog of disenchanted discouragement. All of a sudden, Inspiration slaps me in the face and screams at me to get up, to do anything.

Sometimes, Inspiration is more compelling. Sometimes, she pulls me from my cocoon of warmth, and I itch to craft something beautiful. Whether I am successful or not doesn’t matter. Whatever it is I created, I’m content knowing I created something. For just one day, I didn’t let Inspiration outrun me.

Other days, I’m simply too weary to realize what I have. Inspiration is so inconveniently fleeting. Things that may have inspired me to explore the crochet of thought one day may be nothing more than a slew of messy string the next. 

I can’t quite place what exactly causes Inspiration to come calling, what causes the slowly dying ember to spark and explode into golden and tangerine hues. She, Inspiration, can come from a single word or phrase spoken to me days ago. She can develop from an odd thought, a particularly delusional and hypothetical contemplation. Once in a while, she floats to me through melodic beats and harmonious words that I can’t resist.

From words to words. That’s how Inspiration works for me.

Yet, Inspiration appears different to everyone and affects their imaginative side just as differently. You see, everyone is creative. Those who are labeled “creative” or an “artists” simply have found their medium to express themselves. I think that on the deepest levels, we were designed to want to be heard for who we are, to want to be seen for who we are. Despite society conditioning us against it, we all want to express ourselves in the truest and most untainted version.

But then why does Inspiration come and ago as if it has a mind of its own? If we all want to express ourselves, why is it so hard? Without Inspiration’s pestering presence, I am left without the ability to create. To my eternal frustration, Inspiration doesn’t know how to come when it is called.

Like your shadow, Inspiration can disappear in a second. When I need Inspiration, she is miles down the endless road. When I want to create a masterpiece, Inspiration is laughing in the distance. However, when I start to forget about her, she circles around and taps me ominously on the shoulder.

And just like that, my fingers type in a flurry on my keys or my notebooks fill with pages upon pages of looping calligraphy attempts.  Eventually, I slow. I become tired. Inspiration streaks away, and our never-ending game of tag on the road with no end begins anew.