When Inspiration Stands Still

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"We all have slow days, off days, days we feel tired or uninspired, but they are nothing to concern yourself with. Like the ocean, the stillness is just another of our natural states.
Soon, the winds will pick up, the waves will rise, and your imagination will flow freely again.
- Beau Taplin

March is such an odd month for me. Most of winter is behind us yet spring still takes forever to show up. It's the month that feels the longest, full of teeter-tottering hope and gloom, warm days and cold days. I know I made a blog post awhile back about winter blues, but this one is focused more towards the creatives out there. Those who are "created to create" and feel completely lost when they are not doing so. I've been having a hard time staying inspired, and when I am, I have a hard time carrying it out. Here are a few things to consider when you're in a creative rut:

Is social media inspiring me or leading me to comparison? 
Pinterest, tumblr, instagram, etc are definitely means of inspiration, but it's important to pay attention to when it's just flat-out frustrating. There are times where I go to pinterest to get some ideas or vibes to inspire my next project and I close the app feeling great and refreshed, but there are also times where I'm scrolling through and all I feel is less than everyone else, wondering why I don't have that house or why I didn't think of that idea first, or why my blog isn't as creative as that blog. Comparison. It's important for me to make note of this as soon as it happens so I can turn it off and give it a rest for a few days. Comparison and discouragement like that can debilitate me for days at a time and is never beneficial to my creativity. Social media can be an amazing tool but also a dangerous trap. Paying close attention to how it's going to affect me when I use it helps me a lot. Sometimes you just need to let ideas come naturally, without the help of pinterest or tumblr, and that's okay!

Don't force it
Sometimes I have days where I'm not in the mood to create at all but for some reason I still feel like I should be. I feel like I should be working on my blog, taking photos, doing a craft, rearranging my room, etc. It's not really because I feel like I need to impress anyone or show off, but I suppose it's just part of my creative nature. Sometimes all I want to do is do my homework like a normal person and settle down with a book or netflix and not feel guilty that I didn't do anything creative that day. I guess that might sound ridiculous to some people, but there's gotta be someone that gets what I'm saying? My point is, I'm realizing that when I force it when I'm not feeling it, I end up with a product that I don't like and I'm not proud of. Like Beau Taplin said in the quote at the beginning of this post, stillness is a part of us and it is inevitable. I'm learning to let myself just be still. Instead of creating MORE simply because I feel like I have to, I am starting to create LESS of better quality.

Coloring books
I know this may sound weird, but coloring books are actually a huge help to me! Like I said above, I sort of have a nature of needing to create something. But I know there are days where I'm not gonna like what I make, so I turn to coloring books. It's something artsy to do, but you can't really mess up a coloring book. It's also super relaxing and stress relieving!

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "adapt the pace of nature; her secret is patience." Nature is beautiful. Nature is slow. It takes time and energy to create beautiful things and we need to give ourselves more credit for that than we do. I'm learning that if I'm uninspired that's okay and it gives me time to turn my energy elsewhere. It's okay to have still days and that doesn't set me back in my creativity. If anything, it's revitalizing. I'm slowly but surely accepting this.

If you're "created to create" but sometimes feel like you just need a break...me too. And that's okay. What are some ways you deal with feeling uninspired? I'd love to hear from you!

2 comments

  1. I love coloring books! I haven't had one in a long time. I also like puzzles. Something about physically assembling a puzzle to get to the picture is relaxing and feels good. I'm absolutely a writer at heart and I'm actually working on a book—I picked it back up for the first time in MONTHS and it honestly feels amazing. I have days I get stuck though and it sucks because I feel like I need to write SOMETHING even if it's bad, yanno? Like I need to contribute to my writing. But lately what has helped is flash card style outlining to help me refocus and stay in track with what I'm trying to accomplish. I know that doesn't work for every creative outlet, but I guess at it's core it's just brainstorming ideas. Sometimes that helps give you direction and get you going.

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    1. oooo yes puzzles! I love puzzles. My family and I were working on the cutest 1000 piece puzzle that we got from Amish Country but it was so so hard! We kinda gave up. I'm so happy for you that you picked up your book again! I'm sure it's gonna be amazing. The flashcard thing sounds like a good idea! I kinda do the same but with an idea journal for my blog posts and ideas I have in my head for photos.

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