Where to look for inspiration

When I’m at a loss for something to write about, there’s usually a very simple explanation.

It usually means I’ve been stuck in a routine for too long, hunched over a computer for too long, overworked, under-exercised and/or lacking in sleep. (Conversely, being bored can have that effect too, though since grad school took over my life, I haven’t had that problem once.)

Despite my best efforts to fill out some semblance of an editorial calendar every month, I sometimes come up short on blogging ideas—or, the ideas I jotted down before no longer interest me. Luckily, it doesn’t last too long, because I know where to look for inspiration.

where to look for inspiration

Whether you’re a blogger or not, if you sometimes suffer from a lack of inspiration, these ideas will spark your creativity:

Go through your old photos. I’m always browsing through my photos to find something to go along with a blog post, but sometimes I go through my library before writing to see if I get any new ideas. Plus, it’s always fun to reminisce on a special day or trip. (Does anyone print out photos anymore? That’s something I’d like to start doing again.)

Find quotes by your favorite authors/artists/musicians. When a quote really resonates with you, it inspires an inner dialogue, either reaffirming something you believe in a more eloquent way or challenging you to think about something differently. Write down your thoughts and don’t edit yourself.

Talk to people who are much younger or much older than you are. Nothing like a kid’s innocent honesty or a grandparent’s wise insight to completely change your perspective, right? Whether it’s an eight-year-old or an 80-year-old, there’s always something to learn from them. (That obviously goes for different races, religions and gender identities, as well.) Expand your social circle and expand your horizons.

Make a list. A bucket list. A reverse bucket list. Places you’d like to visit. Things you’re really good at. People you admire. Books you really should read. People you should really call.

Play tourist in your own city. Think you’ve seen everything there is to see? Challenge yourself to find something new. If you drive everywhere you go, commit to an afternoon of walking around—even if it’s just in one area of a spread-out town—and you’ll likely notice things you’ve never noticed before.

Get off the Internet. File this under “advice to self.”  You can only aimlessly click through the black hole that is The Web for so long before you absorb exactly nothing you’ve read, and let’s face it—you’re checking Facebook more often than is healthy or normal. Pry your claw-shaped hands off the keyboard, close the laptop and stretch your limbs in the big, open space known as “outside.”

 Have you found yourself in an inspiration rut lately? How do you pull yourself out of it?

wittycassiehere on Twitter

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Comments

  1. Yes I’ve definitely found making a list is highly useful – I observe a lot of my surroundings and usually am inspired by something someone says or does. So I’m keen to pay attention daily and everyday have at least one new thought or idea to log. 😉 And totally agree getting off the computer helps 🙂 Have a great one Cassie! -Iva

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Being more observant is the easiest and best way to find inspiration in general. I should probably take more notes throughout the course of my day. I always think I’ll remember a small detail but sometimes forget it later. Amazing to think how much material you’d have if you took just one note a day!

  2. The word bored has not entered my vocabulary since school started in January. Restless, yes, but that’s just because I want to live life as a nomad.

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Right?! Nothing like school to catapult you out of boredom (and into sometimes wishing you had time to be bored, haha).

  3. I nominated you this morning for an award on my blog! Check it out! 🙂

    Sarah
    http://coffeeringsandsouthernthings.com/

  4. Thanks for this input. Even though I’m getting a PhD for writing, I still find myself having writer’s block on our blog. It happens to everyone! Getting off the internet is always great advice. I feel like my ideas never really happen when I’m searching for them on the internet…i just get overwhelmed!

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Same! I always scour the Internet for ideas and sometimes you do find them there, but it’s good to have a variety of sources of inspiration. It’s good for your mind and body to log off every now and then.

  5. This was such a great post! Just the other day, I was completely stuck. It had been a few days without blog posts, and I felt pressured to come up with a good one. But it wasn’t until I started doing some reading through of my favorite quotes that I grabbed a pen and paper and the words just started to flow! Us bloggers find inspiration in the craziest places sometimes! And I totally agree with you – if I feel stuck, it’s usually because I’ve been overwork or going about the same routine…. Good advice!

    • Cassie Paton says:

      I hate that feeling you describe, because the pressure you feel when it’s been a few days since you last blogged makes it so much worse! But suddenly, you come across the perfect thing to pull you out of your slump and all is right in the blogging world. 🙂

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