As I eat this wonderful chocolate chip cookie, I feel uninspired. If you asked me why I couldn’t really give you a direct answer. Maybe I feel this way because I’m eating yummy cookies when I’m trying to eat healthy. Maybe it’s the shelf in my room–the one that holds the notebooks and folders filled with my ideas–that has grown eyes, and a mouth and is saying: “You never finish anything so why start trying now?” A smart woman once sang, “Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead.” Instead of thinking about all the ways something cannot be done, I am choosing to make a post about how I can, practically, get them done.
Usually getting inspiration is a process that is incredibly personal. In other words, the reason I lose inspiration in the first place is because of something that’s happening in my life. Then there are those things that are beneficial to more than one person.
- Writing on white boards, lined paper, blank paper or opening up a brand new document on word. Sometimes changing up the way you write can make you realize you have the ideas all along you just need to change how you express them. Large blank spaces especially tend to bring out some of my creativity. These spaces remind me of looking at a stretch of untouched snow in the winter time. When you see that snow you just want to mess it up somehow, by playing in it or making a snowman. Even if you end up writing or drawing nonsense, the feeling of filling up a space and getting inner ideas out can be comforting.
- Trying out new places and times to write. Sure, I am my most creative in the evening and in the night. But, sometimes committing to the opposite of what you are used to can shake a new idea out of you. Or you may realize you were wrong about being a night person in the first place.
- Write even when you don’t feel like writing. So you’re feeling frustrated and uninspired? Try writing anyway. If it doesn’t work then take a break. But you’ll also get those moments where things you are going through pour onto the page. Don’t worry about it sounding depressing or whiney, you can always sift through it another day! The point is getting it out!
- Read what you like to read about most of all. Science fiction books and movies really help me get creative. At first they make me feel crappy for not thinking of something as great as a Time Lord (I love Doctor Who). But then something goes ‘Pop’ and before I know it an idea is forming, usually one with a super cool twist.
- Walking and/or exercising. It is a proven fact that walking improves your creativity! We all know that exercise improves your productivity too! The boost of adrenaline I get when I walk or do more intense exercises are great for keeping me focused, imaginative and confidant. Also, intense exercise helps clear the mind, much like meditation; another great way to help you calm down and focus.
- Find something or someone that speaks to you. Find something or someone that makes you feel like whatever you’re going through can be helped. It can be a real person or a character. I stumbled across the TV show Being Erica at a time when I was feeling weighed down by the question “what are you going to do when you graduate”. The show helped me gain some perspective!
- Do something as simple as finding inspirational quotes! Here are a bunch that I came across recently that I absolutely love:
- If you write a hundred short stories and they’re all bad, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You fail only if you stop writing. ~ Ray Bradbury
- Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth… But amusing? Never. ~ Edna Ferber
- I see the notion of talent as quite irrelevant. I see instead perseverance, application, industry, assiduity, will, will, will, desire, desire, desire. ~ Gordon Lish
- You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ~ Jack London
- Engrave this in your brain: EVERY WRITER GETS REJECTED. You will be no different. ~ John Scalzi
- You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. ~ Phyllis Whitney
- A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. ~ Richard Bach
What approach(es) have you developed to stay inspired and creative?