“Inspiration is for amateurs”

The advice I like to give to young chefs, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. – Mark Gresge

LEtoile0004

Image courtesy of Beyond the Flavor

Great advice for anyone pursuing a creative endeavor. I’ve heard similar advice from writers, and now here it is from a chef. Stop sitting around–put the pen to paper, get yourself into the kitchen, and start making–you might just surprise yourself with what comes out.

I’m saying these words as though I’m giving advice to others, but really, I’m saying them to myself. So often this fall, I  as have felt “too busy” to create; I envy the words I read, the photos I see, from others who have time to look, listen, cook, write. This weekend, however, I took the initiative to find 20 minutes on Saturday morning to sit and write; 15 minutes on Sunday afternoon, before I lost the sunlight, to take a few photos for an upcoming post; 30 minutes on Sunday evening to get into the kitchen and cook. And I remembered that these moments, only an hour or so in total, add up. Taking the time to just do it is really not that hard, and is really just so vital. It keeps the creative juices flowing, keeps me feeling centered, content, complete.

I came across this passage from Charlottesville chef Mark Gresge while reading Commons over a cup of coffee this weekend. You can read Mark’s full essay on the L’etoile blog, or, better yet, order the book–it’s full of wonderful stories and incredibly gorgeous images of the Charlottesville food scene.

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3 comments

  1. I love this post! Mark is one of those friends who almost never fails to inspire me – and truth is, he has definitely helped push me to get where I’m at now and I know will continue to push me along the path. I love seeing him inspire others the way he’s inspired me.

    1. His words were definitely inspiring and motivating for me! I would love to know him personally, as you do!

  2. Wonderful advice! I’m glad you were able to take some time out for yourself. Much love!

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