Inspiration can be a fickle thing. When I first started blogging, I was buzzing with ideas and the words for a post would be starting to form as I fell asleep at night. And this can still be the case at times. Equally, at other times my brain can be an empty cavern with absolutely nothing going on in it and there’s nothing quite so soul destroying as staring at a blank page trying to force inspiration!
With that in mind, we’ve put together some ideas so that should you get the “empty cavern” syndrome, you can come here, find comfort in knowing we all do and more importantly learn how to get yourself out of it!
Step away from the computer
OK, you might find you can get all the inspiration you need from the internet but the vast quantity of information, even just in your niche, can also cause anxiety, especially if you’re feeling down on your inspiration. So, taking some time to observe the world around you, remind yourself of the things you love…it might be just the ticket for inspiring a new post or even a whole new project!
Do the chores
It has been noted that doing something boring is great for freeing the mind. My best ideas often come while I’m washing up or hanging out the washing! And I get brownie points for actually doing some chores for once.
Steal like an Artist
One of my all time favourite books on inspiration and creativity is called Steal like an Artist, by Austin Kleon. The title of the book takes its name from the first chapter, where he advises we study our heroes in great depth. Nothing is original and you’re looking for stuff to steal to make your own! We’re not talking copy-right issues here, just collecting awesome ideas that can be fed into your new, amazing post or project.
Get a hobby
For many of us, blogging is our hobby! But what happens when blogging then becomes your job? It leaves a vacancy, which needs to be filled. You either need a new hobby or the void may well be filled by something less appealing (like rubbish TV or drinking too much). Your new hobby is both fun, so it’s like a treat (also important for creativity), and should also feed your mind with loads of new ideas and inspiration for wonderful posts!
Try a new skill
Entire blogs were born of this very thing. The book (and film) Julie and Julia is about a woman who decided to make every recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She chronicled her journey through her blog, then got a book deal, then it was made into a film. No pressure 😉 Deliciously Ella is a slightly more modern day version of a similar story. She was looking to improve her health through amazing, clean food and blogged the journey. You might want to try cooking, but equally fencing, knitting, putting make up on in front of a camera, might be more appealing.
Write every day
Last year I took an oath to blog everyday (if I had said “write every day” I would never had done) – man, I wrote some utter rubbish! But amongst the rubbish I learnt a few key lessons and it’s true what they say…creativity breed creativity. In having to create something everyday, new ideas and inspiration came from it.
Give yourself a deadline
If you’re like me you need a deadline to make things happen…otherwise then never will. That is even true for creativity and inspiration! It can often happen at the 11th hour, which I’m sure infuriates my friends and colleagues (!), but if I didn’t have a deadline, it might never happen at all.
Make inspiration a daily habit
James Altucher talks about writing down 10 ideas a day. Bad ones, good ones, whatever just keep practising coming up with ideas and make it part of your daily routine.
Accept your limitations
Some of the best ideas have constraints and limitations – such as Twitter with its 140 characters and Instagram with its square. When you accept that you might only have 2 hours to work a day or you have to get up early to work uninterrupted, etc. you’ll soon come up with creative ways to get around the problem. I virtually had a panic attack in the days before the School Holidays. How was I going to do all my ‘work’ while looking after a toddler full-time? We’re actually having a ball and it’s just making me prioritise what I need (and want) to do and ditching the stuff I don’t like. And, all that time not working is helping me come up with more ideas.
Finally, whether you’re stealing like an artist or trying a new skill, the most important thing is be yourself. It doesn’t really matter if it’s been done before because the very fact it’s you doing it will make it unique. Being yourself means, firstly, you’ll enjoy it way more, and secondly, everyone else will enjoy it way more too! Sometimes that’s easier said than done, and don’t agonise over it too long, but keep it in mind and keep asking yourself… “is this me?”
“If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.” Austin Kleon
We could go on, so perhaps we need a part two, but hopefully that was helpful for now!