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Inspiration is the term given to a sudden, unconscious increase in creative output, and can be though of as the physical manifestation of creativity, bridging the gap between the unconscious and conscious mind [1]. Creative ideas come before inspiration does, inspiration can be though of as a translation process that allows creativity to be expressed coherently and economically. In modern psychology, inspiration cannot be studied, as it is an internal phenomena, and by definition, cannot be controlled. Thus, there is no scientifically valid means of observing it objectively.

James Hilton said that inspiration is "too often something nonexistent that a writer waits for when he is lazy."[2]


  1. Thrash, T. M., Maruskin, L. A., Cassidy, S. E., Fryer, J. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). Mediating Between the Muse and the Masses: Inspiration and the Actualization of Creative Ideas. Journal Of Personality & Social Psychology, 98(3), 469-487.
  2. Preface to Goodbye, Mr. Chips