Relying on creativity to pay your electricity bill can bring on some unwanted pressures that aren’t conducive to creating. Ideally, you need to be able to turn your inner muse on and off like a light, but it’s not that easy. Inspiration is usually the gateway to the gold. Here’s some ideas on how to stay inspired.
Get sleep. It’s hard to have the energy for inspiration if you haven’t had enough sleep. Try to be aware of your circadian rhythm and the times of day that you are most prone to inspiration. Read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
Inspiration is like food — only what you take in can be infused at some point into what comes out. In this age of being inundated with information, we have to protect our inputs. It’s good to have an awareness about what information or entertainment you are consuming, because often this is the food for what will inspire you. There’s not really an equation for this, because it can be something bad that inspires you to do something good, but it can’t be bad to be aware of what’s going in.
Fresh air and walks. I try my best to go on what I call “recce’s” which are really just random walks with no plan or direction. I never know what I’ll see or who I’ll bump into. If, like me, you are a creature of habit, push yourself to go somewhere new and to go somewhere or do something for the first time.
Being productive can be the most inspiring thing. Sometimes just clearing the decks of what you have to get done can create the space for inspiration.
Keep busy. Don’t get too lost in your own cyclical thoughts. Try to stay active “doing” — reading, making, walking, listening. Podcasts have become a much bigger part of my inspiration repertoire lately. There is no shortage of inspiring podcasts out there where you can listen to experts talking passionately about the areas that you are passionate about. “And The Writer Is…,” “WTF,” “This American Life,” “Song Exploder,” and “Have You Heard George’s Podcast” are some of my favourites.