Monday, April 03, 2006

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

For anyone that has ever made their living in a creative field, you know better than anyone that you rely on inspiration to bring your ideas to fruition. We all find inspiration in different places, but what are those?

For me I can go to certain wells, and almost never come up without a drink of water. Below are ten inspiring ideas for inspiration, not necessarily in order of importance; shared freely to provide a forum for which others can also share their ideas. Because one of the most inspirational things I can do is listen and look at what others are doing. A painting, music or a good book are all things that can stimulate my creativity.

1. My creativity is not based on a nebulous breath of air. I have become disciplined over the years, and I pretty much am driven by the same nine to five clock and calendar that most of the work force is driven by. Truthfully I quite often don't take more than a ten minute lunch break or a walk around the yard. There is an aside to this however, I work in the environment that I have created for myself, I'm not stuck in a soul-sucking cubicle somewhere.

2. Nature is my number one inspiration. Nature is more than inspirational, it is spiritual, and while I'm not a big outdoors person in the sense of the word that I need to hike five miles every day, I just need to see and touch nature daily.

3. A specified time and place works, but playing hooky can be just as inspirational as discipline, especially when I get a touch of spring fever. In contract to the discipline described above, distraction from a work schedule can do wonders to inspire me also. As long as I don't overdue it, guilt (especially derived from guilt over not spending enough time working can send me into a hole devoid of inspiration.)

4. I don't sing in the shower, because I really suck at singing, but this is a relaxing place to let ideas flow, and plan my day. I guess you could call this singing of a sort.

5. Trite as it sounds; my dogs provide me with infinite inspiration. They have a lot of personality and tons of unconditional love. I could write an infinite number of children's books on their antics alone.

6. Loving myself. Don't laugh. If I'm down on myself, I'm not open to creative possibilities. Loving who I am gives me the confidence to try, even if it means failing.

7. Allowing myself the obvious which is that I might fail. I might succeed. I might have fun. I might become famous. I probably won't get rich, but if I did it would be okay, I'd buy something frivolous and give large inappropriate gifts to people just to surprise them.

8. Paying my bills is actually a great motivator for me, but I can see where thinking about that would shrink the muse for many.

9. I allow myself to disappear into my work for hours, and not worry about where it is going or what the end product will be, because low and behold, that's kind of like trying to complete a crossword puzzle without the clues. On the flip side of this notion, having goals is good; just don't stymie your muse with too many details.

10. I spend a number of hours in the evening doing mindless things. So what inspires you? That's what we want to know.

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