Finding Inspiration in Ordinary Places

Design, How To, Wellbeing

Finding Inspiration in Ordinary Places: How to get out of a creative rut

I have this book called Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal. It’s a journal that asks you the same question on the same day for five years. One of the recent questions it posed to me was “What is your recipe for creativity?” On days when I find myself in a bit of a negativity pit (read: When I’m in a rut!), I would likely find this question impossible to answer. But on this particular day, the moment I looked at the question, I knew the answer immediately. I suppose that’s because I was feeling inspired that day, and I answered thusly: Warm beverages + Time spent in nature + Inspiring friendships + Observation + Absorption = Creativity.

Here’s my my recipe for creativity, in case you were curious.

Warm Beverages

I feel like this is a bit of a “duh” ingredient. Pick your favourite warm beverage. Sip it, ruminate, ideas will come to you. I, personally, really like tea. And matcha lattes.

Making Lemonade Out of Those Lemons

In my personal experience, on “Negativity Pit” days, inspiration doesn’t come easily, if it comes at all. You can’t just sit around waiting for inspiration to find you because Negativity Pits can last a hell of a long time. But I find that you can usually course correct a little bit if you are able to produce something meaningful despite a lack of inspiration. In situations like these, I will latch onto whatever is going on in my head, whatever strange, looping thought, no matter what it is, and try to turn it into something else. Try to explain it in a way that might be meaningful to somebody other than me. This often happens in the form of a free-writing session, or a poem, or a journal entry. Just something that will get me creating in a way that comes naturally and easily to me.

Time Spent In Nature

I cannot shut up about how inspiring nature is. I love a nice crisp day out, walking through tall trees, along running water, maybe with somebody to bounce ideas off of, maybe not. I feel most alive when I’m spending time out in the fresh air. Bring a notebook, a pen, a snack, and a giant bottle of water. Be prepared to pee in the woods. (Try not to be alarmed if a mosquito bites you on the bum. #lifelessons)

Inspiring Friendships

In a recent post, I wrote about how you tend to become an amalgamation of the people that you spend the most time with. So pick good people. Spend time with people who encourage you, who love you, who support you. Pick people who are more successful than you and learn from them. Success through osmosis, no? Flock to friends who are smarter than you, even if you find them intimidating. Because they will teach you things and make you even more awesome.

Observation and Absorption

This tip is one that I learned in art school many years ago. Observe the world around you, and gather inspiration from there. People watch. Evesdrop. Read from a wide variety of subjects, writers, and time periods. Read all of the motivational notebook covers at the bookstore. Branch out from the usual genres of music that you listen to. Consider connections. Become that insane detective making yarn diagrams on their walls. Explore these things in a way that is fun and meaningful to you. Creativity isn’t just what’s in your head, it’s what’s outside of it too.

If you have any recommendations based off of how you find inspiration, I would love to hear them. Leave your comments down below.

More later. xxoo

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