I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am solar powered. So when the days get shorter and colder, my natural inclination is to hibernate. Hibernation is rarely a socially acceptable practice, so I generally force myself into finding inspiration and getting re-motivated in whatever ways I can. Here are some of my tried and true free ways to find inspiration:
- Go window shopping. No need to buy things- stores can often be chock full of creative inspiration. Color combinations you may not have thought of, beautiful patterns to ogle at, and awesome pieces that you don't need but just appreciate their existence! Pop into a big chain store or even your local antique shop. If you're looking for inspiration, there's always something interesting to see.
- Set a very specific goal and stick to it. This works amazingly especially with larger projects and is a sure fire way to keep moving. i.e. I need to have this room painted before family comes over for the holidays (even if no one will notice but you). But Karen, how is that inspiration?? I don't know about you, but when I'm powering through a tedious task like painting a room or cleaning out the basement, that's when I get some of my best ideas.
- Change your scenery. If you stare at the same computer, on the same desk, in the same chair, looking at the same wall day in day out, a change of scenery will do your brain good. Take your work to a coffee shop or even to another room. Don't have the luxury to move your work? Step away and take a walk. Changing your literal views will immediately cause a shift in your mindset.
- While you're sitting in that coffee shop mentioned above (coffee optional since we're talking 'free' ways), why not meet up with a like-minded friend? They'll understand your creative frustrations and road blocks, and may be able to share their own ideas and solutions.
- Borrow a book from the library. Remember that place your mom took you to when you were little before you had the world of knowledge at your fingertips via smartphone 24/7? It's still there and it's waiting for you! Guess what- in addition to any physical book you could probably ever want, your local library most likely even has an e-catalog where you can borrow books for your e-reader and audiobooks that download right to your phone. Get motivated, learn a new skill, or simply escape into a fantasy world. My latest audiobook download? Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm ready for some inspiration!
- Listen to a podcast. Need some recommendations? Check out my podcast listing list from last week. There's bound to be a podcast out there that will inspire you!
- Turn up the radio and DANCE! Act like a dork. Who cares if the cat thinks you've lost it. Kick up your heels, let loose, and have fun! It may not immediately provide you with an influx of inspiration, but you'll be happier. When you're happier, you're in a better mindset. When you're in a better mindset, you're more open to inspiration. BAM, problem solved!
How do you find inspiration when you're in a rut?