Creative work needs inspiration, depends on it. When the inspiration muse is shy and doesn’t want to come out or you scare it away, what can you do?
Blockages can happen in any creative process. While you probably cannot prevent them from occurring, you can prepare for them.
We know a writer can stare for hours at a blank document without writing a single word. That’s called the writer’s block.
Let’s take a concrete example. Writing a book is not the same as writing a blog post, but we know bloggers get the writer’s block too. As a blogger you need to find fresh ideas for blog posts to keep a regular rhythm of posting, but sometimes you come up empty in your attempts to find new things to write about.
What if you already have a list of ideas to work with compiled during previous moments of inspiration? That would prevent a blockage, wouldn’t it?
I found seven ways to summon inspiration (in reality prevent blockages and increase the likelihood of becoming inspired frequently) and capture it, but please add your own observations on the subject in the comments below.
Let’s examine these seven tips, one by one:
1. Don’t Interrupt a Creative Flow
Inspiration may not come often and won’t stay for long. Which means you’d better make the best of it when it strikes. Anything you can do to help? Yes, don’t interrupt it to take care of your daily chores!
2. Write Down Your Best Ideas As They Happen
Don’t rely on your memory, it will fail you. Any great ideas you find or think of, write them down. I have both a journal and a computer file for capturing these ideas. A hand-written or hand-drawn idea imprints in your memory better, but in a computer file you can search for keywords. That’s why I use both.
If you have a perfect title for a blog post, but no content yet, write it down. If you have some draft ideas for an article, but no title, also record them.
Ok, the previous two points show you how to capture inspiration when it comes. But what if it doesn’t come when you need it? That’s a fact actually: inspiration and creative flows cannot be scheduled. But certain activities favor the occurrence of inspiration moments.
If you are a frequent reader of materials related to topics on which you need inspiration (books, articles, quotes, even comments), you will find enough ideas to work with.
4. Pay Attention
You can find inspiration in a regular conversation, in life events, nature, music or art. Just pay attention! And allow yourself to think outside of the box.
5. Look For Questions Instead of Answers
This is an important one. Most people look for answers to their questions. Creative people look for unanswered questions. Then they fill in the void. A creative person will always have more questions than answers. Don’t be upset if your child asks a lot of “stupid” questions. It’s how they learn.
This is related to reading, only much more focused. You already know what you are looking for, and you want to see different opinions, approaches, details left out, where demand is, etc.
7. Meditate / Rest
Sometimes your mind is simply overwhelmed and needs to relax in order to function at the highest parameters. I have some of my best ideas while I rest in bed or day-dream.