#414 Inspiration Clock

What Time Does It Strike for You?

Steven Pressfield wrote one of my favorite books: The War of Art.

Actually, he wrote three of them: The War of Art, Do the Work and Turning Pro. If you’re committed to creating great things, I think that trilogy is pretty much a must read. Short, punchy, change-your-life wisdom on how to move through the inevitable Resistance we all face as we do what we’re here to do.

Today we’re going to focus on one particular passage.

Here it is: “Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. ‘I write only when inspiration strikes,’ he replied. ‘Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.’”

Hah. How great is that?!

One of the key themes of Pressfield’s books is the difference between the “amateur” and the “Professional.”

The amateur waits for inspiration to strike. The Professional knows that the simple act of showing up is the most essential thing. The Professional can set their watch to when inspiration will show up.


Well, they’ve taken the time to figure out what their (idiosyncratic) version of a Masterpiece Day looks like.

They drop in their AM and PM bookends and, perhaps, commit to being Creative before being Reactive as they prioritize their Deep Work. Day in and day out. Like a Professional.

All of which leads us to Today’s +1.

When does inspiration strike for you?

(For me? Well, I’m writing this at 5:21 AM. I got up a little early this morning at 3:13 AM. My time varies a bit but here’s what I know: It A L W A Y S comes after an early morning, alarm-free rise and shine followed by my 20+ minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of movement. Boom. Inspiration.)

P.S. I’m reminded of Peter Drucker’s wisdom. He once said: “I am told I am creative — I don’t know what that means. . . . I just keep on plodding.”

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