BELA LAMPERT

Yoga Instructor
Optioned Screenwriter

How Inspiration and “Sitzfleisch” Work Together


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When I started out writing, I thought when I just concentrate on it enough, when I put in all the work, when I am willing to more than the others, I will automatically become a great writer.

Sound familiar?

Other writers think it’s just all inspiration. They think ideas will just fly to you.

So, what do other writers and professional creative thinkers say about the matter?

I think it was Michelangelo who said, “Inspiration does exist but it has to find you working”.

Something, the great Joe Eszterhas, writer of the movie “Basic Instinct”, described with other words. For him, what you need most is “Sitzfleisch”. IT is a German word and describes the ability to sit on your butt for hours.

So, yes, inspired work is about putting in work even (and especially) when you don’t feel like it.

But there’s also a second component to it. if you work nonstop you’ll get burned out over time. And a burnt out mind can’t create.

You also need ro let go.

Put in the work, but then take a break. Finish that version of the draft but then take a day off.

Do your morning writing stint but then focus on other things.

Letting go is just as important as working. Athletes know that. The body gains strength between training sessions and not during the exercise.

And in the midst of letting go your mind has the time and energy to create something brilliant.

How to learn to let go?

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