On The Writer’s Voice earlier this week, I wrote about what inspired me to write Genesis. Inspiration for new story ideas come to writers all the time, in various ways and forms, sometimes in the strangest place or from the tiniest little thought. But to turn those ideas into stories takes more than creative inspiration.
In fact, everyone comes up with ideas. It’s what we do with those ideas – whether for a story, a painting or drawing, a new recipe, a business or anything else – that counts. And that inspiration comes from within.
The passing of Steve Jobs has hit me harder than most “celebrity” deaths. It’s not that it just feels more personal – I learned about his death on my iPad, I write this right now on my MacBook – but because the world lost a true innovator and visionary at such a young age. He not only had the ideas, but he did something with them. To perfection.
What inspired him? How can he inspire you? Here are a few Steve Jobs quotes we can all live by when it comes to creating:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
So what will you do with your ideas? What are you going to do today?