It’s a great feeling when you are. You can feel invincible and really on top of your game. You earn the right to walk with that smug swagger.
When you don’t?
Not so much. Especially if you have a deadline to produce something epic.
You might end up scraping the recesses of your mind for some useful material or end up staring blankly into space. You might even be screaming silently to yourself “Muse, why won’t you appear!” On many occasions I have sat in front of my computer, willing something to come to me – a wonderful word, a superb sentence, a perfect paragraph to get me started. Sometimes it comes naturally, other times my muse abandons me to the feeling of pulling teeth and a painful and long slog. I have been reduced to forcing myself to stay firmly fixed in my seat, vowing that my bum would not lift off of my comfy swivel chair until the arduous task I had to undertake was complete.
Yes, it is unfortunate…
Inspiration doesn’t happen on demand.
And when it does show up it can sometimes happen at the most inconvenient of times, like when you are in a meeting or when you should in fact be concentrating intently on something else. Or when you have no pen and paper or technological device to record your ideas. Or when you are trying to sleep (this I find most annoying!).
Inspiration doesn’t have to be too elusive, if you know how to access it.
Are you interested in finding out how?
Here are some tips…
1. Change your environment
Change your surroundings. If you are indoors, for example, take a stroll outside and have a breath of fresh air. If you can’t do that, enter another room. It helps you to switch off so you are fresh to create later.
2. Sit in solitary silence
Silence definitely does help to gather your thoughts. Find some place where you will not be disturbed. Allow your mind to drift seemingly aimlessly until you stumble upon something useful. It may take a while to sufficiently relax in order to achieve this state – how long depends on you. And that means…
3. Turn off all technology
Yes you guessed it! No TVs, phones, radios, tablets, iPads, laptops etc. No checking your Facebook or Twitter feeds. They are an unhelpful (but tempting!) distraction and will only serve in delaying your muse’s appearance.
4. Keep a pad and pen (or pencil) in close proximity
I can’t stress this enough! Always have writing material to hand, especially when you venture out and about. Inspiration doesn’t care if you are out shopping, on a date or running errands etc. Always be prepared so you can transfer it straight from your mind to something tangible. When they lady inspiration strikes, simply whip out your pen!
5. Take some time off of the task
Have some down-time. For half an hour, an hour or two, escape from the misery of the forcing frenzy and go on to another activity on your to-do list, or do something fun. With any luck your subconscious should be working in the background attempting to manifest that elusive inspirational idea. Enjoy yourself and return to your creativity later.
6. Force yourself to work on it, even if you’re not in the mood
Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of giving yourself time off. If a deadline is looming large in your face then you have to grit your teeth and get on with it. Try your very best and little flickers of inspiration will appear. You might surprise yourself at how well your project turns out!
7. Create regularly
Try to create things as frequently as possible. Set a particular time to do this and stick to it, even when you are not in the mood – discipline is key! This helps you to get in the creative zone and access your inner muse quicker.
Dreams are brilliant for finding inspirational content. Some of people’s best creative works have come via dreams. Be sure to wake up and write your ideas down before you forget it!
So, how many of these will you try? Hopefully you will have your inspirational eureka moment before long!