“It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.” Steven Pressfield
We’ve all been there. You desperately need an inspiration for a special project and have a deadline that is fast approaching. Or maybe you are are just feeling blah and want to feel reinvigorated about your life and passion in general. As someone who works in a creative field, I know too well that feeling when I just can’t get excited about anything. Sitting down to write feels like the hardest thing in the world in those times. Inspiration can feel so elusive when I need it the most. Over the years I have developed some tools that always seem to get me over the hump, I hope that they can help you to when you’re feeling uninspired and experiencing resistance.
Work in a beautiful place – Changing up your work environment always helps to think of new ideas to write about. Public places are great for people watching and getting lost in thoughts and ideas. If it’s good weather, sitting outside in nature is a great way to connect with inspiration. Make sure to pay attention to your surroundings and jot any ideas that come to you, even if they don’t make total sense.
Write in a journal – studies show that handwriting (not typing) activates your right brain which is your creative side. If you are constantly on a computer try trading your keyboard for a pen or pencil. Handwriting also forces us to slow down, which is good for inspiring creativity. Anytime I am brainstorming ideas I always pick up a pen and notebook to start. I always enjoy spending time picking out a pretty notebook and special pen for my writing.
Do what you fear the most – you’ve heard it before but often times what we fear the most is the exact thing we need to do to break through to the other side of our block. When I first started doing stand up I was so consumed with fear I actually started sobbing. It took me a while to accomplish the physical part of doing comedy but by taking three-foot tosses towards the larger goal got me there. For instance, I didn’t go out the next day and perform, I signed up for a class and started writing jokes! I can’t imagine my life ( or creativity) without conquering that fear. Ask yourself what’s one thing I could do today to conquer my fear, and take one small step towards it today!
Attend a Conference or retreat – This is actually my best tip for getting ( and more importantly staying) inspired. I’ve made it a point in my life to always put myself in growth situations. If you aren’t growing, you’re dying! Scheduling a conference or retreat a few times a year puts me in that mindset and having events spread out helps keep the momentum going throughout the year. I always look at my calendar at the beginning of the year and block off the time so it doesn’t get filled up with stuff that’s not as important.
Just start! – Let’s be real most of us can’t always sit around and wait for inspiration to show up! Often times it shows up after we’ve been had the pen to paper for quite some time. Recently I had been trying to think of a name for a comedy show for days and it finally came to me about 3 am after my kids had woken me up. My point is, just start creating. Don’t worry about being perfect or editing yourself. We all get the first draft that no one else needs to see. Get your ideas down on paper without judgment. Inspiration meets you at the point of action, meaning that often once we start taking action the idea shows up!
Always remember that resistance and feeling uninspired are just part of the creative process. If you’re feeling this way you are not alone. Try one (or all) of the things listed above and watch how quickly these feelings dissipate. We were born to create, so don’t stop. And if you want more support on these, make sure to check out my favorite books. Happy creating!