Recently, two things have worked in tandem to make me realize a lot about myself and creativity. First, I’ve taken a job doing transcription. Second, I’ve had to suffer through continual banging on my roof, as the contractors had today to work on it… My only day off in a 47-hour work week.

The second has made me realize how creativity and inspiration can be found anywhere, even the most obnoxious of situations. My brain is already forming a potential scene where a couple – bang! – going through a conflict – bang! bang! – keeps getting comically interrupted by the noises of construction around them. I see the looks on their faces, the growing exasperation, the pursed lips as they wait for a turn to speak midst the intermittent noise.

It’s not a full idea, and it’s not one I will probably act upon or write myself, but it’s still there. The creative mind never shuts off – bang! bang! bang! – no matter how absurdly annoying it is that your one day of rest isn’t, well, restful. This concept provides me some peace and amusement instead of compounding the frustration.

While I already knew inspiration can be found everywhere, it is different to start to feel it in your core. It bewilders me, but provides me with an enormous amount of comfort. If I look for it, I can find it. If I want to see another perspective, a silver lining, a funny tidbit, it’s there. I can also see the bad, but with it, I can also be inspired by the good.

Now, listening to transcription has given me some insights into the way other people think. There are a lot of interviews with successful people that I’ve been able to listen to and write down, and something about the act of writing it has made it stick with me a little more.

The single common thread with all of these successful people is their persistence and acting on their dreams instead of waiting for them.

Yes, you can be inspired by anything, but what can you do with that inspiration? What will you achieve now that you are inspired? You need something concrete. You need to act. You need to decide.

Taking the first step in any direction can be terrifying. I know, because I’ve had my fair share of hold ups in my life too, but if you are trying to be an author, an artist, a painter, a musician, a sculptor, pursue anything creative (or heck, becoming an entrepreneur of any kind), you need to take that first leap. There are people out there who still haven’t written their first novel, but have been working on it for years.

Why? Why stop at Chapter Five, Chapter Ten? Why stop one scene before the finish?

There’s a leap of faith you have to take on yourself and for yourself. You have to say that you are worth it. You have to garner enough confidence to say that it’s worth continuing, finishing.

One of my scripts I stopped writing with about ten pages left to finish it. Ten pages, and I walked away. I still haven’t gone back.

Those ten pages signify a lot more than just ten pages: self-doubt, convincing yourself it’s not worth it, wishing it could be better, fear of failure, not wanting to complete something only to have it go no where.

I come back to my writing a novel in a week again, because it’s the moment that I proved to myself I could do this. Everyone needs that moment. Everyone needs that instant where they can say, “Yes, this is happening, and nothing is going to stop me.” There have been numerous times in my life where I haven’t fought for what I wanted, what I believed in, and what was holding me back? Most of the time, fear. Some of the time, self-doubt. A few times, laziness.

If you commit to finishing no matter what, you’ve already taken the first step in the right direction. You’ve taken the step that successful people have taken. Every single author who has come before you has had to finish a book in order to be successful. You can’t finish without starting.

Your fear shouldn’t be in failure; you should fear never taking the leap to try.

It’s easy to be inspired, harder to find the strength to follow through. Take comfort in knowing that inspiration is everywhere, but take pride in knowing that you can follow through.

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