Although I’m a big proponent of ‘write and the inspiration will follow’ there are some days where even I feel like it won’t happen. I get it. I understand because I’ve been there. But we need to keep working so here are 4 simple things I do for creative inspiration. Maybe something will click for you.
If you don’t keep a notebook handy, then please start. I’m not talking about a 3-ring binder or Trapper Keeper. I’m talking about a small notebook that can travel with you. I used to use the hardcover Moleskine journals, but now I prefer their Volant softcover journals. They are lighter, hence easier to carry around and they even have a smaller version that can fit in your pocket.
If I’m walking out of the door, that journal is with me. No matter where I go. It’s a place I can capture my thoughts, quotes, things I see, and snippets of things that inspire me. If I’m working on a project and an idea comes to mind, I can capture it without losing it.
It’s also my catchall journal. I write lists, things to do, the start of blog posts, and I even capture my gratitude in my notebook. When I’m done with the journal, I go through it and place little Post-Its on pages that I think I’ll want in the future. Sometimes I even write a short one or two-word description so I can easily find what I need.
Time and again, I’ve gone back to these gems. It’s amazing how relevant things from 5 or 10 years ago can be. I even found things to use from an old notebook that I kept in the 1970s. I’ve used several of those little gems in this blog.
This one is for the WordPress user. But you can also use Google Analytics. I’ve just found the Jetpack searches to be easier to get to, especially when looking at monthly, quarterly, and even yearly searches. This post was inspired by one of those searches.
If you use Jetpack then you know that one of the options is Site Stats. Here you can see how many views you’ve had, your top referrers, best posts, what people are clicking on, and search engine terms. It’s these search engine terms that you really want. (Although, best posts will provide great information on what people are reading on your blog.)
I always click on the summaries option for search engine terms. It will show you search terms for the last 7 days, the last month, the last quarter, the last year, and even all-time. I usually stick to 7-day, 30-day, and sometimes the last quarter because these indicate what people are searching for right now.
While there will a lot of irrelevant searches, ones where you wonder how they got to your site in their first place, for the most part, you’ll strike gold here. Sometimes one search might inspire one post, or several searches combined together can be a post, which is what inspired Vision Board Question and Answer.
The search term ‘describe stimulants to creativity’ is what inspired this post.
Look, it doesn’t matter whether it’s crocheting, knitting, or paper mache. Oil or watercolor paints. Art or gardening or cooking. Find something else that is creative and do it.
Sometimes doing something else creative inspires your creativity. And sometimes doing something else creative sustains you while you’re going through a slump.
I found that quarantining during this pandemic caused me to start feeling blah. Made it harder to complete posts or even start posts. I had ideas for them, I just wasn’t into writing them. But I have a need to be creative, so I took up a skill that my sister tried to teach me. And I practiced and practiced and practiced. A lot.
Eventually, I made three decent enough scarves to give to children. Then I started learning how to crochet flowers and crafted one-of-a-kind headbands for the girls.
And you know what happened to my writing while I was crocheting? I started writing again. It didn’t seem like such a slog after all. The crocheting pulled me through. (Get it?)
Through a Child’s Eye
We’re fairly new to Orlando but we’re so lucky to have a friend here. Her family has become our family and we get to spend time with her two daughters. They are so much fun. The youngest is a roughhouser who also loves cooking. The oldest is a delicate dreamer who loves fashion.
With them, I’ve done crafts, coloring, and games. And let me tell you, the games they love to play most are ones they make up on the spot, often changing rules right during play. The power of their imagination is inspiring to watch.
Lately, fashion girl is into designing outfits. Out of thin air. She will ask if you’d like a ball gown and then enter her imaginary shop where she creates the outfit for you and brings it over for you to put on. She’ll even create shoes, her favorite to design are currently high-heel flip flops. Not sure how I’m supposed to walk in them.
She lets me enjoy my new outfit, usually a ballgown, for 5-seconds before she is ready to conjure a new one. Then she’d wave her hands over me and out of thin air, a new outfit would be magically created. How can you not be inspired by the sheer confidence she has in her imagination?
This is how I refuel my creativity. I’d love to hear what you do.