Inspiration always seems to be one of those things that ebbs and flows. When you don’t have it, sitting down to write even fifty words suddenly seems like an impossible task. When you do have it though… what a feeling it is. You feel as though you just have so much that needs to be said, and for me, it’s as though I can’t get it all out of my head quickly enough and transform into something tangible and real.
Starting this new year at university (my second year) has brought with it a mixture of emotion in terms of inspiration. I am simultaneously met with the trepidation that comes with having taken a break from reading academic texts and knowing that soon enough I’m going to have to string my understanding of them together into something coherent, and feeling as though I’m ready to throw myself into really building a solid creative foundation for myself. I’ve decided that I am going to run for a role on the student newspaper, and writing it here means that I have committed and I can’t let the opportunity pass by. I’m holding myself accountable to this blog to make sure that I actually do it. I’m also becoming increasingly focused on thinking about the direction that my blog is going to go in in the foreseeable future, and the changes that I am planning on making. So, while I feel as though I have so many projects and ideas bouncing around at the moment, I also feel deeply inspired just to write and wanted to write it here while it still causes me to feel genuine excitement to open up a document and let the words run.
For this post, I wanted to share some of the places that I get inspiration from, and some of the tasks that I set myself to ensure that even if I’m in the middle of a creative slump, I know where I can pick back up again from.
1) Reading non-fiction
This is something that I’ve placed a lot of emphasis on this year, and something that I feel has helped immensely in re-focusing my mind. The internet is an invaluable resource for non-fiction (and a lot of fiction, but that’s a different story), although sometimes you just want to be told something in a format that allows you to curl up and drink a steaming cup of tea while you do it. I’ve been reading a lot of books on spirituality this year which has definitely aided my practice (I’d highly recommend A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle if you’re interested), but recently after wanting to read it for a long period I picked up On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King, and it is like a shockwave of inspiration went through me the moment I picked it up. Just hearing about someone else’s experiences, and even more so, hearing them talk about their passion, is incredibly inspiring and a powerful motivator. I plan on making sure that I keep on reading books by artists to encourage me to see the worth in developing my own ideas.
2) Watching creative content
Videos are, to me, by far the best way of very quickly tuning back into the mindset of creating. As soon as I hear someone talk about their love for their own projects, it makes me want to get back to mine. Ever since I discovered BookTube I’ve been a huge admirer of Ariel Bissett’s content, and the direction that her channel is taking – the pure passion for art that she has – is very exciting and so encouraging. Recently, I have also found myself returning to PJ’s videos. I used to watch him a lot, but it was after seeing Forest Kid pop up recently (now one of my favourite videos on YouTube) that I remembered just how much his eccentricity becomes contagious after only a few minutes. These are just two people that have impacted me a lot and will always continue to do so, but that being said, I would love to hear recommendations for other artists who make videos that I can add to my list of inspiration sources.
3) Talking about my ideas
As someone who has always been prone to working on my own, I often struggle to see the value in talking through ideas with other people. I might harbour an aspiration and keep it to myself for fear of thinking that it’s unlikely that I’ll ever do it and then people will see it just as a failed dream or not take it seriously. I do think that in reality, though, a lot of us don’t know exactly what it is that we really want, or are unsure of the path to getting there. I’m trying my best to talk more about the things that I want to achieve. I want to write and be involved in literature/heritage, but I don’t know exactly what form I want that to take just yet. I want to focus on this blog and I want to get a good degree at the same time. Talking about these things is more likely to make them a reality, and talking about them means that when the chances arise, I’m well placed to ask for advice from the right sources because people will know what it is that I am striving for.
4) Making Pinterest boards
I do find that Pinterest boards are an amazing resource for collating ideas in a very visual sense. While the layout can be confusing (and I still don’t know what a lot of the features on the site actually do), I do think that there is a lot to be said for collecting ideas together in a way that you can entirely make your own. I’m not constantly on Pinterest, but when I feel a lack in motivation or creativity, it helps a lot to just take half an hour or so to gather some new thoughts together and see what other people have created. My board on writing in particular is coming together nicely, and I know that I will constantly be referring back to it when I need it.
5) Checking in with my intentions/taking time to organise
Together with my reading of non-fiction, I find that taking time to mindfully consider my motivations helps me to re-centre. Although talking to others about my ideas and aspirations is becoming increasingly helpful for me to figure out where I want to be, as an introvert I also physically crave the time where I can sit down and sort through the ideas that I have developed. I unashamedly love my colour-coded planner and dream boards, and if there’s one thing that my first year at university especially taught me, it’s that I thrive the most when I’ve had time to recuperate, and can go at something mindfully and positively. The more organised I am, the more I find myself willing to tackle new problems and go for new things.
I suppose you could say that this post was written as much for myself as for you, the reader. I plan on referring back to this when I need a few creative reminders, but I do hope that some of the points I’ve made might help you in your own endeavours to turn your inspiration into something real.
Are you currently working on any projects? Do you have any tips for me when it comes to how you find your inspiration? I would absolutely love to know!
I hope you have a beautiful day,