We often think of inspiration as the holy grail of creativity, as something that strikes like lightning and opens a whole new path for ideas that can then materialize into something amazing. Sadly, when you think of inspiration this way, it means it is completely out of your control because apparently it is something that comes from the outside and you can do nothing but wait for it to happen. But is that true?
Is the answer to the question of how to get inspired really to just sit back and wait? I don’t think it is. And I have learned that through my past experiences many times over. You see, there actually is something you can do when you are waiting for that divine spark. It is to – well, do something.
There’s a free printable for you at the end of this article. It’s called my weekly INSPIRATIONAL WORKBOOK and it will help you be your most creative self!
Stop waiting and do something.
This is probably hard to take for some of us because it is easier to put the responsibility of getting inspired on someone or something else. It is easier to say “I can’t start the work because I haven’t gotten the inspiration.” When in fact it is the work itself that can do that for you.
I love this quote by one of the greatest artists of all time and probably the synonym for creativity for many people, Pablo Picasso. In the context of how to get inspired, he said:
Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
Work invites inspiration.
It is hard to compare oneself with the work process of one of the greatest creative minds of all time, so let me give you a simpler example. Say you want to impress a special someone and decide to prepare a three-course meal worthy of a Michelin star restaurant. You put the work in, you study the ingredients, think about the flavors, try everything out, but something still isn’t right. There is something missing, but you can’t quite grasp what it is. Then all of a sudden, on your morning walk, it comes to you out of the blue. That one ingredient that was missing, that will now take your menu from good to amazing.
Was it really out of the blue? Or was it something that was stirring at the back of your mind from the moment you started planning the menu? You didn’t get an epiphany on how to paint an impressionist painting, did you? Because your mind was not there, it was with your beautiful menu, even when you weren’t actively working on it. Notice the word actively here. Your mind is amazing this way. It works for you even when you are not consciously thinking about something.
Still, you have to put in the work first.
You have to dive deep into your project, think about it, examine it from different perspectives, draw, doodle, take notes, whatever it takes to get you to the point, where suddenly, you can connect the dots and create something extraordinary.
And how do you do that? Well, everyone’s way of work will be different. Some people are more visual, whereas some take a more scientific approach, and so on. However, there are certain ways that can help you prepare yourself for inspiration no matter what you are working on. Today we are sharing 5 ways that help us get inspired when we find ourselves in a creative rut.
5 ways to prepare for inspiration:
Keep an idea notebook
Ideas can strike any time and although not all your ideas will be the incredible inspiration you’ve been waiting for, they are all worth writing down. Because ideas generate ideas and who knows, maybe something that seems silly today will turn out to be the dot you’ve been missing tomorrow.
We keep saying this here on the blog, but doodling is an amazing tool for boosting creativity and getting new ideas. The simple act of scribbling on a piece of paper has a profound effect on the way your brain works. It helps you grasp new concepts and come up with new ideas. And it is super fun to do.
Go to the library or bookstore
Sure, you could also look it up on the internet, but there is something about surrounding yourself with books on a certain topic that can invite inspiration. You don’t have to study the books thoroughly, just browsing through the pages may often do the trick. Also, sometimes studying the classics of your field can also provide some much-needed change of perspective.
Play and experiment
When you feel like you have done the work, but inspiration still isn’t there, make time to experiment with what you have done so far. This way you will take off the pressure to find the one solution or magic idea. By escaping the rules of the “real world” you will be more likely to come up with imaginative and out of the box ideas.
Clear your head
After working on a project for a while and still not finding the right idea, the amount of information in your brain can be overwhelming. If this happens, I suggest you tune out for a while. Try sitting in a comfortable position in a quiet room and focus on breathing. Let go of any thought that should arise and just be in the moment. After 10 to 15 minutes your mind should feel clearer and ideas easier to grasp.
These are a few of the techniques that we use in order to stay inspired in everything we do. Do you have any of your own? And do you agree that doing the work is the single most important technique that opens doors to new ideas? Let us know in the comments below.
And don’t forget to download your free printable!
Download your free printable:
my weekly INSPIRATIONAL WORKBOOK
Fill out the form below to get the download link.
Sign up for our newsletter to become a member and get access to our members’ library, full of awesome FREE DOWNLOADS & PRINTABLES.
You will be added to our mailing list, which means you will receive emails from YES! we made this in your inbox. We only send out content we believe is useful to our readers.