Whatever your profession—writer, designer, editor, entrepreneur, writing coach, consultant, educator, farmer, parent—the turn of the new year reminds us we’re looking at a fresh calendar full of possibilities. How do we make the most of it if we’re lacking creative inspiration?
Inspiration, like routine, is behavioral. It’s an internal result of an external action. We have to do something to be inspired. Creatives often think that inspiration hits them unprovoked. This simply isn’t the case. We have to put ourselves in positions for inspiration to come. We have to be exploring, discovering or seeing. We have to be listening or thinking or moving. It’s a result, not a random act. (30)
You want ideas? Need inspiration? Help your mind break free from routines: Do something. Mumaw offers a starter-list of ideas to get you in motion:
- Read a book
- Take a walk
- Watch a video
- See a movie
- Throw a paper airplane
- Wear a headband
- Stand backward in the elevator
- Draw a stick figure
- Tell a joke
- Find a new blog
- Disassemble a stapler
- Create a paperclip monster
- Solve a new problem
Each of those will create opportunities for mental exploration, discovering, thinking, moving or doing. Each of those, Mumaw points out, launches with a verb—each requires doing something. “Inspiration,” he concludes, “is found through verbs. So verb” (30).
Next time you need some inspiration, seek creative stimulation—like Julia Cameron’s Artist Date, modeled regularly at Tweetspeak Poetry. Or for a more dramatic creative boost, take your verbs to the next level so that they require a risk—keeping in mind that risk is relative.
When you need inspiration throughout the year ahead, make your own list of verbs and do something. Who knows? You might find creative inspiration in the middle of a snowball fight, a trip to an art museum, a tour of an apiary, or a walk on the beach.
Sims, Julie Ann. “Jumping 5 Creative Hurdles.” HOW May 2013: 26-30. Print.