Where Creative Inspiration Comes From

I have an update about the Insta Model.

I know, I know, I’ve seemed obsessed with her in my recent posts. But, to be fair, there was only the first one and then the update.

I was going to leave it at that until something happened. And after the something happened, my imagination had a heyday. 

That’s when I realized where creative inspiration comes from, which makes for a significantly more interesting post than simply using every week to update you on the happenings of a stranger.

But first, update on the stranger!

So I was in my crazy class the other day (Yes, I’ve been going a lot. It keeps me from being a monster). The class has a very popular teacher and is always pretty packed. The people who go are used to piling on top of each other as you lay your mat down, knowing that likely almost every inch of space will be used by the time it all fills up.

But there’s a guy who, the other day, I saw had a towel next to him. When Insta Model walked in, he moved it so she could have a spot next to him. (People do that a lot for their friends, I got no problem with it – it’s more fun to be tortured with someone you know next to you!) As I looked at them, I figured they had to be related. Like father and daughter or maybe uncle and niece. Or somewhat significantly older brother and younger sister. He greeted her going in for a polite hug and side kiss thing. She was cold about it but reciprocated.  She then set her mat down and went to get her 6 sets of different weights (that I do have a problem with, but I’ve already mentioned it).

That was last week. This week, I went to class and the guy was in his usual spot all the way in the corner away from the door and in the front. I like the corner opposite the door because it gets slightly less crowded, so I’m usually near there as well and near him.

This time, he didn’t have his towel next to his mat. He did have an open space, but he was letting anyone go there. I didn’t go there because, well, that’s Insta Model’s spot. I wondered why he wasn’t saving it for her.

I thought maybe she wasn’t coming. But this is Insta Model we’re talking about. She’s dedicated to keeping her muscle game on point.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, she strolls in straight to him. But she keeps her mat in her bag and simply hands him a check. She says “Here’s the check” quietly. He takes it and they don’t make eye contact. She then starts to walk away to presumably find another spot. She looks around the room and goes back to the spot next to him. “There’s no space,” she says, begrudgingly unraveling her mat by him. “That’s karma,” he says, possibly attempting some sort of tension-releasing joke to get a response out of her. It doesn’t work. She unravels her mat and gets her spot set up.

I have to unhinge my jaw from the floor because I’m sitting right behind these two during this interaction and wondering what the hell is happening, who they are to each other, what that check is for, how much it’s for, what the conversation surrounding it is, why she doesn’t want to sit by him now, how many times before they’ve fought like this, whose idea was it to exchange the money in the first place, what the hell he meant by karma, and a thousand other questions I had before we began torture class.

In the few more moments before hell class as I tried really really hard not to stare at these two and pick up on any physical clues they might give about their relationship, I realized that’s what creative inspiration is all about. It’s paying attention. It’s watching the world around you. It’s allowing yourself to be affected by people and their situations. It’s being curious and open to the small dramas that are playing themselves out in front of your eyes all the time.

It’s letting your imagination run wild.

After seal team six training class, I watched them even more. They didn’t speak much. A perfunctory nod as she left. As I was driving out, I saw him put his stuff in a gold pick up truck. A pick up truck in Los Angeles? How curious. He had bumper stickers in the back. One was a firefighter sticker. How curious. Was he a fireman? Retired? Is this pure agony class how he stays in shape? What do those tattoos on his body mean? How freaking curious.

I had so many questions.

I wanted to make the answers up with my imagination. I wanted to use them as inspiration for a story or a screenplay (though I settled for just this post…for now). For me, that’s how I express myself. Or, I might take on her mannerisms and act out what it’s like to be her. That’s because I’m a weirdo writer/actor type, so that’s how I get creative. But people are creative in so many ways.

The key to finding that inspiration is simply staying open and curious about the world around you. You don’t have to try. It’s already there waiting for you.

Even in the most basic moments in the most surprising places, you can be inspired. Even when you’re about to complete sixty minutes of gut-wrenching torment a nice class, you may find yourself creatively inspired.

The other side of that, of course, is you have to actually express it. The more you express the more you’ll find yourself inspired.

But that’s a post for another day.


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