I’ve been a Leon Russell fan forever. I’ve hung in there with him through his rock days, his blues days, his gospel days, and–with some angst–his country days. I always like an artist, whether it be a musician, a novelist, a screenwriter, a photographer–who’s not afraid to stretch and try new things, even if he or she might disappoint a few people along the way.
Anyway, ol’ Leon’s coming to town and I’m going to miss seeing him because I have a previous commitment, but the Raleigh paper did a nice article on him, and I was struck by the following quote:
“I enjoy writing. But it remains a mystery to me. The inspiration, just that whole process, is interesting. But I learned how to write without inspiration… It took me about 20 years to figure out how to write without inspiration. Thankfully, I got there.”
I love that quote! Once creating shifts from being a hobby to being both spiritual and monetary sustenance, you can no longer afford to wait for inspiration. If I waited for it, I would probably have written four books instead of eighteen. I believe there are ways to nurture inspiration, but whether it exists for an artist on any given day or not, he or she still needs to find a way to create, the same way a teacher still needs to teach or a bank teller needs to count out the twenties.
I like that Leon says it took him about 20 years to figure out how to write without inspiration. It didn’t take me quite that long to figure it out, but it did take me that long to be comfortable with the fact that the muse is not always sitting on my shoulder.
Now what’s with this line drawing, you ask? Well, I didn’t want to infringe on anyone’s copyright by stealing an actual photo of Leon off the web, so I had to draw him instead. This is why I’m a writer and not a visual artist! To see the real deal, click on his name above to visit his website.