And sure enough even waiting will end…if you can just wait long enough.~William Faulkner
We all know about waiting….on lines, in doctors’ offices, in train stations, in airports and in traffic. The mind goes numb and the minutes tick by with maddening slowness.
You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for.~Craig Bruce
Sometimes we don’t mind the wait…but quite often we do. We equate it with wasting time. It becomes the grist for our angst, our anger, our disappointment. But can waiting ever be good for us? Does it have its own rewards?
Waiting was a sin against both the time that was still to come and the moments one was currently disregarding. ~Neil Gaiman
There is another type of waiting that brings wonderful rewards to those of us who are patient. It is what I call “creative waiting.” In these moments, we are waiting for a creative “flash” or moment of insight, which inspires us to create a piece of music, a dance, a poem, a story, or any type of original work. It only comes to us when our mind is clear and we are fully present even as we are waiting.
Popular folklore will have us believe that inspiration comes as a sudden “spark” or “flash.” But in my experience, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, an idea takes days, weeks, or even years to germinate. It sits dormant in the back of our minds, waiting for the right conditions to rise to the surface. It requires patience and the discipline of waiting without fear, without judgment, without pressure to produce. It also requires an open mind that freely explores the vast, uncharted realm of the unknown.
Creative waiting can bring us rewards and delight. It allows us to combine ideas in new and unexpected ways–like this image of the street art of Blub. It can make us laugh or cry. It can astonish and delight us. At its best, it can open our minds to new ways of seeing the world.
There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting. ~J. G. Holland
Creative waiting comes with a caveat: it is an act of faith and endurance. It requires humility and a child-like sense of trust and wonder. If we abide by its rules, it can bring us great rewards and moments of happiness that make life worth living.
I remind myself of all of this as I work on my next creative project–my second historical fiction novel. What will the outcome be? Will I be happy with the result? Who knows. But in the meantime, I must have faith in the creative process, which includes patience, trust, and the art of waiting.
A very special thank you to Amy of our Lens-Artists team for this week’s “Waiting” theme, which inspired this post. To read more on creative waiting, click here.
As always, Tina, Ann-Christine, Amy and I are delighted you are joining us. Stay tuned for Tina’s LAPC #73 on November 23.
Have an inspiring week, everyone!