Wednesday, October 19, 2016

5 Things To Do When You Aren't Feeling Inspired

5 Things To Do When You Aren't Feeling Inspired - A Simpler Grace



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?

The post 5 Things To Do When You Aren't Feeling Inspired first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!

34 comments:

  1. Going outside is a big one for me. The change of scenery and the prospect of a mini-adventure definitely help with inspiration. I also like to just talk to people--family, friends--conversations often spark ideas.

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  2. Mary Varville-RodriguezOctober 19, 2016 at 3:55 AM

    Thanks for these insights! We all struggle with finding inspiration at some point. I often feel stuck if I haven't ventured too far from home. Just getting in the car and getting out of the literal and figurative space that houses my ideas often helps. Not sure if this is always a good idea, but when I had to take my son to the ER late one night (on a Friday) just observing the interactions and non verbal cues of people gave me a whole range of ideas. I'll add this post to my list of inspirations.

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  3. These are all wonderful tips! I love taking the dog for a walk whenever I need Inspiration or I browse Pinterest or Instagram just like you suggested. I also love flipping through the pages of a magazine to spark an idea.

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  4. Rachel, you're so right about conversations with friends and family. They do spark a lot of inspiration for me as well!

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  5. This is a great tip, Mary. Thanks for stopping by to read!

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  6. Yes! Taking a walk with the dog is always more interesting (for me, anyway) than walking by myself. Just seeing my dog discover things along the way and watching her be so curious is often inspiring in itself! :)

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  7. I love talking to my nieces, who just throw themselves into creativity with no thought of whether it's 'good' or 'bad' - they just create and then blab about whatever they've made as if it's the Mona Lisa! It's a great reminder that everything has it's season: sometimes we create; sometimes we just take some time to enjoy our creations.

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  8. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.October 19, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    I love listening to podcasts to feel re-inspired. TedTalks. NPR. This American Life. So much information to sort through and filter in my brain and I'm always walking away with some topic I want to dive into deeper!

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  9. Such great advice. There are times I feel I 'can't' take a break as there's too much to get done but if I go ahead and go for that walk, my head clears and I feel productive again.

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  10. Definitely something creative - super helpful for writers block!

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  11. Going for a walk always helps me refresh my mind. If I'm struggling with my writing I switch to reading, usually I can get inspiration from the writers I admire.

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  12. Instagram is how I get unstuck, and it's fun too!

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  13. I am a big fan of going on a walk or run. It resets my mind and gets me thinking again. Great tips!

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  14. Love this! I go through stages where I'm terribly uninspired, too--it happens to everyone! Getting out and enjoying fresh air always helps me, and I love checking out writing prompts when I'm really struggling!!

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  15. These are all great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing them! Sometimes I get a little uninspired too! I usually take some time out to color. I don't usually do the very intricate design coloring books. They give me a headache. I like the ones that are simple without too much detail!

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  16. I agree that getting outside and going for a walk really helps!

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  17. Thanks for sharing this! Being self-employed and working primarily from home, I definitely experience this from time to time. You've listed two of my favourite ways to get re-inspired - take a break and go for a workout! I find that when I take a couple of days to step away from my projects or work, I suddenly get a flood of inspired ideas.

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  18. That's a great idea, Divya! Thanks for sharing that!

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  19. I always feel so refreshed after taking a walk, even if it's a short one. :)

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  20. It definitely helps clear the cobwebs from my mind. Thanks for stopping by today, Jessica!

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  21. Writing prompts are a great way to get yourself writing again! Thanks for sharing that, Charlotte!

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  22. You know what? I am a big fan of coloring myself. I usually pick up some of the children's coloring books from the dollar store and keep them on hand for when I just need something simple to do. :)

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  23. Can't beat some good old fashioned fresh air!

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  24. Yep! Sometimes you just need to step away for a bit and look at the issue with fresh eyes the next day. Thanks for coming by to read, Ariana!

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  25. These are some great suggestions! Like you mentioned, one of my favorite things is to just get outside and go for a walk. It always leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired.

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  26. I love these suggestions! And all of them are simple and quick! It's tough to stay inspired day after day but I'm glad to be reminded that that inspiration can be refreshed!

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  27. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Rachel!

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  28. Cool tips. Love the one on delve into research and change things up! My favourite one, that I do when I feel bored is: getting creative and trying something new :)

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