How To Get Inspired (For Creatives)

Everybody knows that feeling. The feeling you get that starts deep inside of your core, bubbling its way up through your brain and heart that drives you to create. Something, anything. The sensation can be either thrill, passion, movement, excitement, desire or a combination of these emotions and more. The magic that starts from a single intangible thought and is then revolutionized into a tangible entity - inspiration. Whether it be a song, a novel, a painting, a video or a quilt—whatever the “product” that is transformed from an idea into a reality, it started with inspiration and is carried out by motivation and drive. But sometimes, inspiration is nowhere to be found and we get lost in the world of aimlessly scrolling through social media, staring at a blank word document, or rereading the same page of a book because it just isn’t interesting enough to pay attention to. We all have these maddening moments where we may want to create something, but just can’t find it within ourselves to do so. Here’s how to kick that uninspired cloud to the curb and embrace your creative energy once again.

1. Go somewhere else.

Sometimes the problem isn’t you, but your surroundings. Your environment plays a crucial role in not only affecting your creative energy, but your mood and overall attitude toward your project. It’s also important to recognize the perfect creative environment for you. Not everyone will be able to write poems at a desk at 8 a.m. Try testing the temperature you prefer, whether you work better inside or outside, and what time of day inspiration strikes you the most. Even if it means taking the day to go somewhere you have never been before in order to gain new thoughts, do it. Your work will thank you and so will your mind for the change in routine.

2. Talk to someone who you admire.

Although some may say solitude and silence is their preferred way to work on a passion project, a conversation with someone who lifts your spirits or who has the same passion as you is an instantaneous way to brainstorm and search for encouragement. Not only will you be able to collaborate with someone who has a positive influence on your creativity, but you’ll gain a new perspective that isn’t your own—and that’s always going to be an added benefit to your project.

3. Look at your past work that you’re proud of.

If the lack of inspiration derives from a place that also lacks confidence, keep in mind that anyone is capable of anything that you put your mind to. Relax and shake off that voice in your head that lies to you and says you’re not talented. Whenever I get into an insecure rut I like to look at past projects that I’ve done or writing that I’m especially proud of; doing so will allow you to throw away those thoughts that say you’re incapable. Remember also that most creative projects aren’t exactly a reflection of you, but a reflection of an idea that you had. Take yourself out of the equation if you have to and do it for the art, not yourself.

4. Research.

Knowledge fosters inspiration. You can’t get a great a idea from an uneducated mentality. If you’re making music, listen to all of your favorite albums. If you’re screenwriting, watch your favorite movie of all time. If you’re sketching, look at art that means something special to you. There’s nothing wrong with learning more about your craft. Indulge in what you wish to create for yourself. Study the greats. Some piece of information that you gain will eventually lead the way toward an idea that will have it hard to stop working until it’s finished.

They say that you’ll never know when inspiration strikes, and although this may be true, it doesn’t mean that you can’t consciously find ways to make it hit you faster. The creative process isn’t an endangered species that you’re scared to hunt—it’s the grass on the ground that you’ve never noticed because you’re too busy looking elsewhere. Your next best creation could be just below your feet.

Photo credit: Cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5