Inspiration vs Perspiration
Once in a great while I hear or read something that really brings life into focus. I was listening to an interview recently with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat Pray Love”. I’ll admit, I’m not into the whole EPL thing – I haven’t read the book and based upon the unread books I have lined up in the queue at home, I doubt I ever will. Also, the movie reeks of “chick flick” – I am not a Julia Roberts fan. But she said something in the interview (Radiolab, interview with Robert Krulwich) that makes me think maybe I ought to give her a chance
I think the angels reward people who are at their desk at six o’clock in the morning working…. I always think of it like Henry Ford’s famous line about how creativity is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, which is a very mechanical way to divide it up but also assumes that those two things have equal weight, that they’re the same quality, right? I agree with 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, but its 99% oyster, 1% pearl. You can’t even compare the matter: it’s a BARGAIN to get 1% inspiration. You know, it’s a miracle.
99% oyster, 1% pearl – what a great analogy!
So, I’ve spent a good part of the afternoon today staring at some blank sheets of buff paper, filling them with sketches. I’m hoping that I can make that bargain, to get a pearl from the oyster. Maybe I just need to come in earlier or talk to a few more people. Maybe we need to ask 99 questions, get 99 opinions before we can know which 1 is worth keeping. We’ll see at the end whether a pearl shows up.