Confession. There are days when I can sit down at my laptop to write a post or pick up my phone to share a photo on Instagram and I am feeling so inspired, the words just flow out of me, almost like they are burning and the steam must escape me in the quickest way possible. And there are some days, they don't. Sometimes, the inspiration just isn't there. The good ideas have dried up and the barren desert of creative emptiness is all that looms.
Every creative entrepreneur will face this feeling at one point or another. It's not the feeling of being burnt out or that of being "over it". It's just an apathetic feeling and it comes from being uninspired. From losing your creative mojo, if you will.
This is how you could describe the state I'm currently in. I have a lot of great ideas, pages of them, in fact, but I'm having a difficult time getting them from the idea stage and into production. I go through seasons of feeling like this. Usually, they don't last very long, but they are difficult all the same. I do, however, have some tricks up my sleeve to help me feel inspired again and regain my creative confidence.
Here are five things you can do when you aren't feeling inspired.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH. AND A BREAK.
The very first thing you should do is take a deep breath and walk away for a hot second. Very often, if you are struggling with a lack of inspiration, you are feeling frustrated that you can't come up with something - anything - to get your groove back again. So step away and concentrate on something else for a bit. Do something you enjoy doing. Watch a movie. Work in your garden. Bake some cookies. Do anything but sit down in front of your work and stress out.
GO FOR A WALK. OR A RUN.
Getting outside for some fresh air and exercise is a great way to boost your mood and get those creative juices flowing. Here is a fun fact. Fresh air cleans the lungs, and clean lungs produce more oxygen, which improves brain function. So, just by getting outdoors and enjoying this gorgeous fall weather, you are stimulating your brain and encouraging it to work better for you. As if that wasn't good enough, you will also likely be inspired by all the beautiful autumn sights - the pumpkins, chrysanthemums, and brightly-colored leaves.
» Related article: Finding Your Creative Passions
DELVE INTO SOME RESEARCH. AND CHANGE THINGS UP.
As a writer, one of the things I have found that produces the most inspiration is to do some research. I read articles, blog posts, essays, short stories, books, magazines... No, I'm not telling you to read these things to copy ideas from the authors, but rather to see what is working for them. You will notice what the trending topics are. What is "hot" this season. What people are loving. I would also recommend figuring out what is NOT working for you. Make changes as necessary. Sometimes, even the smallest change - like switching your bio headshot on your website or social profiles - is enough to make things feel fresh again.
OPEN UP INSTAGRAM.
Scrolling mindlessly on Instagram might not feel like a good use of your time, but if you are looking for inspiration, it is a great place to start. Skip your feed and go straight to the "trending" screen. It's the little magnifying glass button, if you didn't already know. Instagram's new algorithm is going to show you more of what you like in this section, so rather than random photos you have to pick through, what you see will be very similar to what you have liked in the past. One thing I would recommend is to pay attention to the captions as much as the photos. IGers are being more authentic these days and sharing heartfelt words, so read them. Feel them. Be inspired by them.
DO SOMETHING CREATIVE.
The very best way to find inspiration is to do some creative exploration. You don't have to be an artistic person to get something out of this activity. Yes, you can pull out some paint and brushes but there are so many ways to bring a little creativity into your life. One thing that I enjoy doing is to take a camera (or your phone) outside and take some photos of whatever you want. Try some angles you wouldn't normally photograph from or get closer to your subject to change up your composition. Another great way (that works great for writers) is to do some free-writing. Set a timer for five or ten minutes and type. Type whatever comes to mind. It doesn't have to make sense or be grammatically correct, just get the words onto paper.
What is your trick when you aren't feeling inspired?