Do you find that some days it just flows better than others? Whether you’re a writer, artist, musician, mother or office worker we all have good days and bad. I’ve heard it said that there are seasons to our soul and we’re not always going to be gifted with flashes of brilliance.
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I know myself I can spend days agonizing over an article that is still not there when I finish but when inspiration hits I can pull something together in about 10 minutes and it barely needs editing. Unfortunately it’s not like a tap we can just turn on when we need it though. Often flashes of inspiration come at the most inappropriate times; 3 am in the morning when we wake up for a wee, at the end of a yoga class or midway through dinner with friends. This is why I’m never without a notebook to try and capture as many of these moments as I can.
Then there’s the many hours we spend at work or sat in front of our computers or out in the garden with pen in hand when it seems the harder we try the further away it gets. Some days I just wake up in a fog and everything seems that little bit harder, whether it’s making tea or writing a blog. How do we give inspiration the best chance of wanting to hang out with us when we invite it over?
It’s all too easy to let procrastination take over, especially when we’re struggling for inspiration. How do we turn that into motivation? Here’s a few things that have worked for me.
1. Taking A break
Sometimes we can try too hard and what we really need is to give ourselves a break. If the inspiration has disappeared it’s like banging our heads against a brick wall. Often we can find renewed enthusiasm even after a short break. Especially if it’s outside in nature. A walk outside can often clear our heads, get us moving and the movement and change of scenery can really help.
A rest for the mind is equally important. If it is over run by thoughts and busy most of the time it makes sense that taking time to be still will freshen it up and help make us sharper and more effective. I find that through meditating I can clear my mind and by meditating on my problem or when I’m stuck can offer up an answer or a way forward.
2. Freshen Up
If you’ve been sat in a stuffy office for hours or working from home at your desk in your PJs, it might be time to freshen up. Often a shower, a scrub up and getting dressed can help motivate our brains creatively.
3. Try Something Different
I’ve also found that changing the nature of what we’re doing can help. If I do something else creative when I’ve got writers block, perhaps some mindful colouring, cooking or playing the guitar I find I can activate the creative part of my brain and when I return to writing the block has eased.
Seeking help and opinions from others can help. This gives us fresh perspective listening to other peoples thoughts. Or simply talking it through can help us make more sense of it and lead to better ideas.
5. Maybe Tomorrow
If all else fails the bottom line may be that if you can’t change your circumstances change your perspective! Sometimes it’s a bad day and inspiration is steering clear, if you can’t change this then try and change your perspective. Think positive, how else can we spend the day, maybe tomorrow will be better? If I can’t create anything maybe I can catch up on paperwork instead?
Sometimes even when flashes of inspiration hit it can feel like it’s for nothing as our finished product doesn’t get the recognition we feel it deserves but this shouldn’t dampen our enthusiasm or weaken our resolve to continue to be inspired. It only takes one person to stumble upon your drawing, track, book, song, presentation and for that person to know someone, or mention it to their friends and all of a sudden the word has spread and with it your inspiration. This may happen next week, next year or not for 10 years but it’ll be worth it when it does and if we give up we’ll never know just how close we may have come to that one person being inspired by our inspiration.