I have often created the most perfect atmosphere to woo inspiration. I have rented cottages to get in touch with my inner-most thoughts. I have traveled across borders to the ocean in order to feel her swim through me. I have lit candles and breathed in the fullness of moons.

And it worked.

In these moments, I would pick up my pen as if the heavens were lifting it with me. The amplitude of organs resonated in my ears. Beautiful stories would dance right in front of me, coming together in awesome brilliance. As if without effort, I would set my pen to paper, ready to capture it all and…


Total nothingness. It was as if someone had filled my pen with invisible ink; a practical joke from the cosmos.

The fall from that inspired high was crushing. I felt frustrated, disappointed, and as though I was the biggest fraud in the world.

Inspiration does not mean instant art.


This has been a big lesson in my creative journey.

Gradually, but gratefully I have learned that inspiration does not disappear when the moments fade. I’ve used its magic long after I’d returned to land and the full moon had passed.

I don’t believe that inspiration is as elusive as we tell ourselves. We don’t have to sneak up on it  or ploy it with perfume and we don’t have to use it all in the moment.

I’ve recently returned from a 13-day vacation to the Yukon. It was without any exaggeration breathtakingly magical.

Every single moment, I was immersed in inspiration.

I was surrounded by stories of strangers, and history of land. There was abundant beauty in every crack, crevice, and doorway.

But if you were to take every abandoned word I wrote and string them all together, you would end up with about 1 page of flat, empty efforts.


Thankfully I now recognize inspiration for what it is: stardust.


Since coming home, I’ve settled back into routine and the stardust has settled in my cells. I find myself reaching for a notebook to jot down a memory, or vague passing. Some of these will become stories for paper, others will be recounted over mugs of tea. But I know they’re here, inside of me.

You see, sometimes inspiration has to roll around a bit in your body. And then you just have to let it sit while the dust settles, and you can see again. Sometimes this happens quickly. Other times, it takes years.

But these fragments hold onto your cells and stay there.

So go ahead, swim in inspiration. Let it wash over you while you bask in its moon-lit beauty.

You don’t have to do anything except trust that the dust will cling to your cells.




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Erica Richmond

 Erica Richmond, the founder of Open Sky Stories believes that words have the power to provide connection & healing. She lives in Peterborough, Canada with her two teens where they find adventures in everyday life. Erica has published two books: Pixie and the Bees and The Mail Art Stories Project: Mail Art in the Time of Covid-19. Follow Erica on Instagram for daily writing inspiration and real-life stories.


  1. Dad

    How do you keep coming up with these things.??
    Truly amazing!!!

  2. Melody Blondel

    Stardust. I love it. What a perfect analogy for inspired experience and writing. Thank you so much for once again sharing the beautiful words from your cellular stardust!