If you’re a writer or creator of any other sort you will have heard the expression inspiration is for amateurs. The implication is that the professionals will churn out material whether they are inspired or not. They don’t just sit around waiting for ideas or motivation to smack them into action.

As with most clichés, I’m sure there is truth in these words. Discipline is very important for the creative arts. For writers, this means sitting down behind our computers every day (or every second day if that’s what we can manage) and putting words to paper. For artists, it means regular sketching or painting. For musicians, it means picking up their instrument whether they feel like it or not.

The pros–who apparently never waver in their output–use the expression to point out to us lesser mortals that discipline, practice and perseverance will take you further than an occasional bolt of inspiration ever can.

Thank-you for this insightful lesson, Oh Great Ones.

It’s not always that simple.

Today the blog I intended to write (the much-promised, highly anticipated 2nd Word of the Year blog) eludes me. The opening paragraph feels flat. The ideas don’t flow and the phrases don’t sing. I’m distracted by the pop-up news articles (it’s official—Trevor Noah and Minka Kelly really did break up) which lead me into a warren of other diversions.

Self-doubts flap around the edges of my mind like a murder of crows (yes, a ‘murder’ – I Googled it). They peck away at the not-so-shiny words and might very well tear this small contribution to shreds before it ever wings its sad, sorry way to the worldwide web.

So, I’ll let you decide for yourself, dear reader…

How important is inspiration? Should we squeeze out words (or art or music) when we feel dry and uninspired (even if it is just to prove we’re not amateurs)?

Or should we rather go and take a nap, drink a coffee, read a book and play with our dogs?