The wandering muse and the willing vessel

be ready for the spirits of inspiration to hit you

I really love authors who speak candidly about the writing and creation process. I read fiction ravenously. I find that I’m always amazed at the different worlds I am able to slip into thanks to authors’ imagination and skill. And even though I have followed into their profession, I still wonder, how do they do it? Are their minds just different than other people? Do they have to be in the right place at the right time to receive inspiration? How do they know when they have the idea that will fill so many hearts and minds?

Elizabeth Gilbert is one author who has made some art around demystifying the process of being a creative. I remember listening to her TED talk and latching onto her description of the inspiration process. She essentially says that there are creative spirits that want to be expressed in the universe, through art, and they will visit upon willing minds and share themselves. If a person is so lucky to be visited and communicate what this spirit wishes to have shared, they can produce great art.

I love the way she places highly acclaimed art as the product of a positive interaction between the mystical divine and a human. This takes the full responsibility of producing off of the artist, which I feel is done in our society to the detriment of the artist. Her theory says, ‘hey writer, it’s okay if you’re not in the exact flow right now, maybe it’s just because the creative spirits are wandering and helping others’. I’ve found that by thinking this way, I’m able to be less judgmental of my productivity and immediate writing quality in doing drafts. I’m able to appreciate the times when the writing is flowing and I feel like I’m being gifted with images that the universe needs to be relayed. I consider myself a storyteller and even more so, a vessel for the universe. This allows me to feel that, even though hard work and dedication to craft are on me, it is a blessing to be able to make art that connects with others.

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Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.

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