Anyone with a passion will tell you that inspiration is more often fleeting than it is fulfilling.
Inspiration has less to do with passion and enjoyment than we think. If you know deep down in your bones that you’re chasing your dream, you’re still not going to be inspired 24/7.
While you may not be able to turn your inspiration on and off like a light switch, there are ways you can create a physical and emotional environment to give your inspiration the best chance to thrive.
Gain Experience -
I don’t just mean in your chosen field. If you’re feeling uninspired, just steaming on ahead can often end up with you just burning yourself out and achieving nothing productive.
I’m talking about life experiences!
Most artists get their inspiration from the world around them, so go and see it, go do some cool shit.
Swim with a dolphin, go on a boat, go to a concert, go hiking, just do something! Inspiration will come when you aren’t hunting it down.
(I mean you don’t become a wise-old wizard but sitting on your ass all day.)
Absorb Everything -
A lot of people in the writing community read a ton of books, and they expect to find inspiration and ideas within those pages because it’s what they’re trying to recreate. But writing is everywhere.
TV Shows, movies, magazines, advertisements & social media all include writing. What catches your attention? What turns you off? Think about that and apply it to your own work.
This principle works for everyone. A friend of mine once told me he changed the way he ran his business because of a documentary he saw about ants.
Inspiration is everywhere people, you just have to open your mind and absorb it.
Join Your Community -
While it’s true, you are special, you’re also among 7 billion other special people, sorry if that bursts any bubbles for you.
Chances are someone on this planet dreams the same dreams as you and they’d love to connect with you. As a writer there’s a huge online community of aspiring and professional writers.
Business owners have communities, painters have communities, sick people have communities. Whatever it is that you’re doing or going through, others are doing the exact same thing.
It’s a great way to re-kindle your inspiration and learn more about your chosen craft. And maybe you’ll be able to share some of your own hard earned wisdom.
(I’ve been trying to join the Illuminati for years.)
Create A Schedule -
Treat your goals like a job (if your creative passion is already your job, fuck yeah!). That doesn’t mean quit your day job and go full time. But if you want to achieve something amazing, then you have to actually work at it. Set time, an hour a day or a few hours on the weekend, and stick to that time.
You’ll find that as you fall into the routine of this new schedule your mind will focus when you sit down to work.
I write 3 days a week after my day job. If possible I write on the weekends as well but not every weekend. I set a schedule that’s in my calendar and I stick to it. If you treat it like a job then it’s easier to say no to things. Someone invites you out for a drink, “Sorry mate, I’m working.”
Now don’t be an asshole and ignore all of your friends, but if what you’re doing is important to you then act like it.
Chose a Workspace -
It’s no good sitting down to work if you’ve got the TV blaring or if the missus is on the phone. You need a place you can work that allows you to get work done.
If I work at home I have 2 options. I either write on the couch in front of my TV and playstation, (definitely not getting any work done), or I write in the kitchen which is right by the fridge (om nom nom.)
So I go to a coffee shop, I get myself a tea (#teamasterrace), I put my headphones in and I work.
(One day I’ll have my unnecessarily large oak desk.)
Challenge Yourself -
When you’re setting goals for yourself don’t make them too easy. When you smash those goals you want to have worked for it, you want that nice, rich, warm, caramel feeling of satisfaction. (I’m writing this hungry.)
One of my favourite ways to challenge myself as a writer is to write some Flash Fiction. How can I fit a story into 50 words? I really have to think and pick out every word. It’s hard, but it’s fun. When I’m finished I’m a better writer and I probably have some great lines to take into my novel.
No matter what you’re trying to achieve, you should be setting goals.
If in 10 years you want to be at a certain place, then make sure every month, 6 months and year you’re still on the right path. Setting short term and long term goals keeps you motivated and keeps you honest.
It’s okay to take breaks -
Taking a break gives your mind a chance to reset. You should take a break every hour. Go for a walk, grab a snack, listen to a podcast, whatever it is you want to do. But just don’t work.
You’ll come back with your eyes and mind refreshed and ready to tackle the project again.
How do you stay inspired?
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