Getting Re-Inspired When Inspiration Is Playing Hide And Seek
It’s gone, and you need it back ASAP! That little sucker is tricky, like a little Jedi/Ninja/Christmas elf. It’s going to take some tenacity to coax it back out of its hiding place. There are extreme tales of creatives going to great lengths to retrieve the inspiration that has run away, skipping merrily through the forest on its way to Narnia. There are also rather unhealthy ways in which some artistic souls have attempted to lure inspiration back through to this side of the wardrobe. I have yet to find the magic switch that will access creative inspiration in an instant, but I have found some tools that seem to help… remember, it’s a tricky little rascal.
Assemble the inspiration search party!
Here are my go-to’s for when creativity has taken the day off:
First, you must recognize your golden times for creativity. Honour your natural rhythms and take advantage of those times, if you are able to. My personal golden hours for creativity are 8:30pm-11:30pm. Yes, I am definitely a night owl. I tried to fight this for years and it just didn’t work. What does work is when I’m gentle with myself and honour the fact that I am most creative and inspired at night when everything has gone quiet and the air is crisp. Roll with it! Maybe for you it’s 6am-10am, work with your natural creative times.
Second, never underestimate the power of movement. Our bodies are not designed to be stationary, sedentary or seated, especially not for hours on end. If you find yourself with brain fog, get up and move. I know you have heard about doing a mini dance party when you feel the need for a hit of energy, but have you actually done it? Take a break and go out for a walk, do some jumping jacks, or bust out a few sun salutations. My go-to is taking my dog out for a short 20 minute walk followed by 5 minutes of good stretching. It doesn’t cut too deeply into my work hours, but it gives me enough time to recharge in nature. Whatever wakes your body up again, do that.
Third, create a playlist of songs that you find most inspiring. Songs that reach deep into your soul and remind you why you love to be alive. This may not necessarily mean upbeat songs. Find what works for you. I’m personally inspired by many types of music, but the most deeply inspiring for me tends to be acoustic, poetic tunes with a strong vocalist. So take notice when you feel moved by a song, jot it down and begin assembling your inspiration playlist. Whenever you feel a bit deflated or lost, queue up your playlist, sit back and bask in the soul moving music you’ve chosen for yourself. And not to be misunderstood, this just might mean all upbeat music and cutting a rug in your living room. Find what works for you.
Fourth, reach out to someone you know will be supportive and encouraging. Tell them what you’re working on, what you’re stuck on, what you’re frustrated with, and what you wish was different. Sometimes just vocalizing what’s going on can have a massive impact on your mood. The idea is not to have someone solve your problems for you, it’s to have someone listen, maybe throw out some ideas, and be a bit of a sounding board. Having a great chat with a friend can churn up ideas that have settled in the bottom of your imagination tank. Stir those suckers up! Start talking yo! If an idea comes up, write it down right then.
Fifth, Journal. This is not a new concept. Journaling helps your mind to dislodge all the excess that it’s been holding onto on the off chance that you might one day, maybe, need it. It will assist you in clearing out unnecessary information and create more free flowing space for your creativity. If you find that your inspiration has been so flattened that you can’t even think of anything to write, then write about just that. Describe how it feels to be so uninspired, how it felt before it left you, and what you would do with it if it came back to you. Just write. You can set yourself an alarm ( 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour etc) where you sit down and write about whatever comes into your mind. No matter what it is. Take 10 minutes to describe the colour blue, if you can think of nothing else. Do a complete brain dump. Write out whatever comes into your mind without analyzing it. Writing can be incredibly therapeutic. It doesn’t even have to make sense, just get writing and you will likely find some flickers of inspiration in your own words. Additionally, leaf back through your journal as another tool to spur inspiration. You never know what you might find in there.
There you have it, my go-to simple tools for inviting creative inspiration back in after it’s fled the scene.
Now it’s your turn. What are your favourite ways of getting re-inspired? Post your comments below.