Searching for inspiration

Creativity as a practice

A change of pace

I've been thinking a lot about inspiration. Where do we find it? Can we even search for it, or is it some autonomous force that finds a human to inhabit? I'm not sure if I believe that inspiration finds us like it does in Big Magic, the book I'm reading. Instead, I think creativity already lives inside everyone. It's just up to us to use it. It's up to us to practice creativity. To learn how to express creativity. Most importantly, to overcome the fear of sharing our work.

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Feeling tired and uninspired

Even the most creative people can feel uninspired. Writing is my primary creative outlet, and practicing photography has become priority as well, but sometimes those two aren't enough. Sometimes I feel like everything I produce is the same. I don't have anything interesting to say. Photos don't turn out how I imagine them. I feel boring. I question everything. Does anyone even read the snippets I leave here?

Those are the days I know I need to switch mediums. I swap my pen for a pencil. The lines in my notebook for a blank page in my sketchbook. I'm out of practice, but after a day of colouring outside of the lines I've given myself, I feel inspired in a different sort of way.

And if a pencil isn’t enough, we pack our bags and hop in the car. Which direction doesn’t matter as long as we drive away from the city. I’m not sure why, but I feel less inspired by cities and more inspired by mountains. Open fields. Wild flowers. I feel inspired when I lose my breath because we’ve climbed to the tip of another peak. A little closer to the sun.

Searching for freedom

I think the city motivates me, but the wild makes me feel free. I’ve created a lot of lines to fill and boxes to check, and sometimes it feels overwhelming living between them. Outside, though, lines curve. Trails lead to views I’ve never seen before. I feel challenged and tired, drawn forward by the sun.

Sometimes I feel pretty little in this big big world, but that's okay because it means there's lots of space to roam and more dreams to live than I can dream in a lifetime. And if my time is spent running through trees and climbing mountains and writing stories about the places I've seen and reading more about the things I want to learn, I think that will be a pretty full life by the time I'm done.

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What about you?

What do you do when you're in a creative slump? I'm always looking for new ideas. New resources, artwork to indulge in, music suggestions. Have a tip? Leave it in the comments below!

Those of you who sometimes need a creative boost of your own might want to sign up for my Monthly Mail. At the end of each month I gather my favourite resources from around the web: videos, podcasts, blog posts, inspiration, books, artists, music—everything—and I leave it in your inbox for your easy reading.

 

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