Inspiration is not my friend: How I smelled the coffee and finally realized the truth

Let me tell you about inspiration, what a punk.

I’m ashamed to say that until quite recently I lived a life tinted with naivety, foolishly believing us to be pals, inspiration and me.

Thankfully, one day as I stood in my kitchen, brewing a pot of particularly strong coffee, the smell of the fresh grounds hit me, and I realized the truth – my sentiments had never been reciprocated.

It dawned upon me that things had always been so inconsistent between us.

We’d make concrete plans (or so I thought), but when the time came I’d always find myself stood-up and alone.

I’d ready myself at my desk with Microsoft Word before me, the cursor twitching for some action, and my fingers primed upon the keys, but the words wouldn’t come. I’d give it some time, waiting in earnest for inspiration to bring the magic, but you know how this story ends, so I’ll spare us both and stop right here.

By the way, you know all that gossip about inspiration and pressure? Well I used to believe that too. Let me tell you though, that none of that jazz about pressure and inspiration is true. None of it!

I’ve tried to invite pressure to the party in the past, hoping that it might attract inspiration.

To make pressure feel welcome I’ve waited until the very last moment, until the deadline was upon me and the pressure was slowly squeezing me out of the room.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but inspiration was nowhere to be found.

Now, I didn’t want to overreact and jump to conclusions, so I reassured myself that maybe inspiration had just been delayed, and perhaps there was a good reason for it.

So I played my party mix playlist, to keep the rodeo going and pass the time until inspiration finally made an appearance.

I might have even enjoyed a few drinks—you know to take the edge off—as I fought against sleep’s advances, since by this point I found myself caught in those bizarre hours when it wasn’t night or morning.

As you’ve probably guessed, inspiration never did show, pressure never went home, and anxiety crashed the party.

I’d been foiled again.

Then there was the teasing, oh the cruel teasing.

After a particularly trying day, I’d come home eager to seek out sleep to console me.

After hours of fitfully laying awake, the welcome drowsiness would start to set-in, and I’d start to get comfortable, ready to surrender to the day and embrace sleep.

Of course, that’s when inspiration liked to drop-by, unannounced and as if everything was just peachy, as if we had plans and I should have been ready.

Inspiration would dazzle me with glimpses of brilliance, make me believe I had the seeds for a Pulitzer Prize winner; that I had found the words to change the world. Maybe I could even write a cure for cancer, somehow, as irrational as it sounded, I could do it, because inspiration had convinced me.

Inspired, I’d vault from my bed, out of the warmth, turning away sleep, shrugging-off the drowsiness, and stubbing my toe in the darkness as I searched frantically for a pen, for anything to capture the secrets inspiration was whispering to me, but of course once I’d located it I was met with silence.

It was this teasing that kept me deluded for so long about inspiration’s sincerity, probably because I wanted very badly to believe in the momentary flashes.

All this raced through my mind as I poured my freshly brewed pot of coffee into a cup, and as I stirred the sugar and cream in, I promised myself that this charade wouldn’t go on further.

Since that pot of coffee, I’ve brewed many more, and let go of inspiration. It’s been difficult but I’m moving forward. I even made a new friend, who’s been helping me along – preparation.