It would be nice if the muse appeared just when we needed her – but the muse ‘ain’t that nice. Inspiration rarely drops in uninvited. Even that initial spark of an idea you had didn’t actually come from no-where. It could have been trolling around your subconscious for a while. But your brain can only offer creative titbits if we, in turn, keep it fed. Don’t wait for inspiration to find you, go hunt it down!
1. Take a walk
A wander around your local area may not seem like it’s going to be inspiring, but try approaching your familiar streets with fresh eyes. That ancient tree in the park could be the portal to another realm. The local war memorial could bear the name of a fascinating real-life character. There’s creative fodder just a few steps away.
2. Go to the library
I’m not suggesting you nick stuff from existing books obviously. But libraries can inspire simply by being a building full of words. You’ll find plenty of voices of encouragement. A single sentence can open up an entirely new world. And libraries have more than just novels of course. Non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, there are plenty of scraps of information ready to be molded into stories.
3. Visit an art gallery
Art galleries are a treasure-trove of inspiration. With art you get the distillation of a single creative drop in one vision, and the ability to interpret that how you wish. There’s an immediacy and diversity in the experience you can’t get when reading.
4. Write without thinking
A good exercise can be to write without thinking. Just grab a pen and paper and start. Write down any words, any sentences as they come. Don’t stop, don’t think, just let your brain throw out whatever it wants. You’ll be surprised what it may come up with. In amoungst the jumble, could be the lead you need.
5. Just observe
This is not advising you to spy on people, or nose into private conversations. But it’s far to easy these days to distract ourselves with our handy dandy phones, listening, watching and reading whatever we like when we’re out and about. Next time, try not to do anything. Yes even put away the book you’re holding. Just sit and observe. You might see an interesting character, or overhear a fragment of conversation that sparks an idea.
6. Do something new
Get up, breakfast, travel, work, home, dinner, bed – routine is both comforting and stifiling – and it does nothing for the old creative juices. So try doing something different. You could take a different route to work, cook something new (or in my case actually cook!), try a new hobby, take a class, wear an outfit you’d never usually wear. Anything to shake up the same-old, same-old we can all get into from time to time.
These are only a few ways to get inspired. What do you do to find inspiration? Let me know in the comments!