Have you ever considered becoming a stalker?
Not a creepy stalker.
A curiosity stalker.
You see, not every inspiration appears like a magical bunny out of a hat. In fact, most of those inspiration bunnies spend their time hopping across your lawn, sneaking into your garden to nibble up your lettuce before something else catches their eye. They rear up to survey the expanse before darting away or turning to investigate the little green sprouts next door.
Those cute little bunnies are your curiosity. And if you are searching for inspiration, it’s time to become a stalker…of your curiosity bunnies.
Aren’t they cute? Their fluffy white tails bounce through your lawn and across the road to pose, waiting by your neighbor’s clematis.
Stalk those little bunnies.
Stalk them relentlessly.
When you commit to following your curiosity wherever it leads, you inevitably discover processes and ideas that solve problems, inspire your writing, and fill you with delight.
For example, after Elizabeth Gilbert had her giant success with Eat, Pray, Love, she didn’t know what to do next. She’d bought a house, so she started gardening. As she gardened, her interest grew. She wanted to know what plants would work in her location. And then she wanted to know the history of the plants. And then she wanted to know who wrote the history of the plants. This investigation continued to lead her down a path until one day she realized she was ready to write again. This story would be of a gardener, and that book was The Signature of All Things.
Curiosity Doesn’t Contain Itself
Of course, our curiosity doesn’t always focus like a laser on one subject. Instead of following just the one bunny, our curiosity bunnies zip down opposite paths and force us to follow them in all directions through the grass. Our attention catches on that bright yellow dandelion, that fluttering butterfly, that sparkling sequin lost by the child next door.
And that’s okay. It’s completely natural, and more wide-spread than we are led to believe by an adoring media celebrating phenomenal athletes, artists, scientists, writers who show off the gleaming diamonds of their laser-focused passion.
Most creative folks scatter like those bunnies, leaping from one beautiful distraction to the next, exploring the extraordinary potential of each.
And all of us need our curiosity to lead us to inspiration, to our next fabulous character, entertaining story, and engrossing book.
Recognize the Gift
Our curiosity is our gift. We explore the world. We find that we now want to know what it means to design a piece of knitting or throw a pot on a wheel or train our dog to dance with us. We take classes and read books and practice our techniques.
We find out what we need to know, and we move on.
It’s just how we are. Builders of our own curiosity cabinets, filling them with fishing flies and soft yellow yarn and little dogs and small cups of flowers. We follow our curiosity and learn to build small sheds and how to run power tools and what happens when you try to use a glue gun to repair cloth. (FYI—Not a good scene! Stay away from the polyester with the glue gun!)
We fill our minds and our hearts and our hands with knowledge and love and skills.
Because we give ourselves permission to follow our curiosities.
By stalking our curiosity, we sometimes will find that diamond of passion hidden in an unexpected place.
And sometimes, we just find another new delight. Or a solution to a particularly challenging problem. Or an idea that will transform our latest plot.
One of the most interesting people I know has taken her retirement to indulge her curiosities as completely as possible. She’s dyed silk scarves and practiced shibori. She’s become a bookbinder and created astoundingly intricate pieces of book art for international art shows. She’s played with the waxy technique of encaustic. She’s taken classes and read books and practiced, practiced, practiced simply because she wanted to know.
Our conversations can run for hours as I ask her questions and discover the hidden depths of her creativity until she grows so embarrassed at speaking about herself she cuts off my last question and sends me on my way. And the thing is, she’s just one of the most contented people I’ve ever known—happily spending her days filling her own curiosity cabinet.
In order to follow your curiosity, you just need to pay attention. Take a day and begin to notice the moments and things and events that delight you. Make a note of them and explore.
Do you love the smell of your Earl Gray tea as you sip it in the morning? Who was Earl Gray anyway? Was he really a person? What made him add bergamot to his tea leaves? What is bergamot? What would happen if I planted bergamot in my backyard? I wonder what bergamot looks like. Wait! Before I look it up, I’ll imagine what bergamot looks like and draw a picture of one.
Ask all your questions. Follow your curiosity. Do your research. Perform your experiments. Get silly. Feel the inspiration that infuses your questions. Allow the excitement of the moment to overcome you.
And then hop after the next bunny.
Your curiosity is a gift.
Stalk it relentlessly.
Tell us in the comments: How are you going to stalk your curiosity?
LA (as in tra-la-la) Bourgeois empowers you to embrace JOY as you manifest your creative goals through her Creativity and Business Coaching. Battle resistance, procrastination, and overwhelm with her at your side, gently encouraging with humor and heart. Discover more at her website, labourgeois.biz