Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
One of the amazing things to me about being an artist is to see the result. I can read someone's poem, see a picture or hear a piece of music and not know what went into making it. I can appreciate the result. But when I look at my own work and know the steps, the struggle, the doubts, the discoveries, the anguish and delight that brought it into existence, I am impressed if the result is good, but I'm more amazed at the existence of the creative process itself. It is a gift to me to be able to do the kind of work I do and have done all my life.
One draws a line on a piece of paper, picks out a tone on a musical instrument or puts a word down on a page and the famous thousand mile journey has begun with that single step. I do a lot of writing in my head before I approach the keyboard. There's an idea. I let it sit in my mind and draw nourishment from my life, my memories or what I've learned from other writers. Soon it begins to send forth shoots and blossoms. I start putting words down and joining them together, making patterns of thought. A patch of a mental garden begins to take shape. I decide what to put in it, what looks nice there, what is appropriate and what's not.
Then I stop and breathe. The creative process is afoot and I can trust that it is. It will supply me with the ideas I want because I have put down the right soil and nourished it propoerly. I can answer emails, delete spam, go to the market, wash the dishes or even take a nap and when I come back to it it's waiting and ready for me. In the meantime it has grown some more and I will see that when I type the next word.
As an actor getting a new script was like receiving a surprise package or a map to buried treasure. What was a printed book, with words and ideas, bound together by the hand of a playwright soon took on another life as my life was bound up in it. Eventually the book was once again just a book but the work of art was in the action on the stage. That is the alchemy of theatre.
DB - The Vagabond
Below are some familiar phrases. Only one of them is legitimate. Which one is it and what is wrong with the others? That is your chore.
EXTRA: You get bonus point if you can think of other illegitimate ones.