If you’re a writer, artist, designer, or some other type of creative person, you may often find yourself chasing after inspiration—with varying levels of success.
Sometimes it feels as though inspiration is everywhere, while other times it’s as if inspiration is a rare and endangered animal that must be coaxed into coming out from deep within the grotto where it lives.
I’ve just started developing a novel, and I’m finding that I encounter the same few problems with each step of the process.
Inspiration usually strikes when I need to be working on a different project (like writing this blog), or it doesn’t strike at all when it’s actually time to work on my novel plans.
I can’t stop myself from getting ideas at terrible times, but I can find a few ways to keep myself motivated and inspired enough to keep working on my creative projects.
7 Ways To Be Creative when inspiration won’t strike
#1 Do nothing
Live your life and let inspiration come to you! I used to do this, and it definitely works, but it isn’t helpful or practical if you’re on a tight schedule.
But if you’re looking for inspiration for a project that’s more like a hobby, then this could be a great option for you.
Surfing the web for interesting facts or information related to what you’re working on is not only inspiring, but fun. When I worldbuild (I’m currently writing a fantasy novel) I like to research different cultures, history, and earth science to help me get ideas for what a fictional society could be like.
This method of gaining inspiration works well, but has the downside of becoming distracting should you get lost down the cyber vortex that is the internet.
#3 Spend time away from the screen
Grab a notebook and walk around outside. You may think of some things to write down, or you may just walk. I’ve found that I think better when I’m walking around and admiring my surroundings whether it’s a large open field, a lake, or a city full of skyscrapers.
The one drawback I’ve found is that sometimes the ideas I think of when I’m out of the house, don’t sound nearly as great once I’m back behind my desk…
This suggestion continues to show up in most of my blog posts, but that’s because it truly works!
I tend to ramble on in my journal, throwing out random concepts and ideas until they slowly develop into something coherent that I can work with.
The main problem I’ve found with journaling for inspiration is that I don’t enjoy transferring my ideas from my journal to my laptop.
#5 Talk To Friends
Telling someone about your projects might be one of the best ways to get inspiration. It works for me because as I tell people about my ideas, I try to see it from their point of view—to understand how they might understand or not understand what I’m talking about.
When I see it the way they do, I can easily find mistakes and plotholes in my story ideas, or spot ways to improve the story and fix the problems. It’s an added bonus when the person is truly invested in helping you, and gives you their honest thoughts about your ideas.
The one downside I’ve found is that talking to people about my project satisfies me more than actually finishing my project sometimes…
#6 Find inspiring content
Read books, watch movies and TV shows, look at pictures, art, and listen to music. Of course, you don’t want to just copy and plagiarize someone’s work, but it’s perfectly fine to draw inspiration from the things you see and hear.
There’s always a risk of getting distracted and forgetting about your project because you get caught up in what you’re reading and watching, or whatever else, but as long you can master the art of self-control, that won’t be much of a problem.
#7 Ask for it
My best ideas have all come from God. Usually, the ideas mirror lessons he’s trying to teach or show me.
When I write, I’m forced to explore the topics I choose to write about. Something about me always changes after I accept an idea from the Lord—and it’s always for the better.
My understanding of God and the world become deeper.
Don’t Make It Difficult
Finding inspiration doesn’t have to be a difficult process, nor does it need to be a routine. These seven methods have worked well for me, but there are all sorts of ways to find the inspiration you’re looking for.
Try some different things out to see what works best for you!
Before You Go…
How do you find inspiration?
Let me know in the comments below!
Check out last week’s blog.