3 Things to Do When You're Feeling Uninspired

Ok, time for some honesty. Each month I have the absolute privilege to share a piece of writing with this wonderful community and each month I spend some time planning and praying about what I might like to contribute next.

The last two months, however, I've sat staring at a very empty word document for far too long (like I'm pretty sure novels have been written in the time it's taken me to brainstorm). It felt like I had this reserve of inspiration within me and each month it was a little depleted until I began to run dry.

Perhaps you're in a similar place; creativity's taken the back seat and you're finding it a struggle to pick up that pen, camera, guitar. I promise you that you don't have a limited amount of creativity and if you feel you've run out, there's more to be found if you challenge yourself.

Here are my top 3 tips for when you hit that staring-at-a-blank-screen-moment:

  1. Look at the work of others. I get it, sometimes the last thing you want to do when you're struggling to get a piece of work together is look at the perfected artistry of others. The daily (or let’s face it, hourly) scroll through Instagram and Pinterest can be infuriating when we're confronted with the brilliant products and designs of others while we're desperately trying to get even the faintest ideas together. But if we fight against that sting of jealousy and use our social media to look for inspiration, suddenly that feed of ours can becomes a treasure trove of ideas and opportunities.
  2. Read your past writing and comments. One thing I do when I just can't bring myself to get writing is to look through some of the oldest posts on my blog. Not only is the process nostalgic but it reminds me of how it feels to publish something I'm proud of. The voice of my previous self also gets me quizzing my previous words and considering how my thinking has changed over time, which often inspires new material. If you're feeling unmotivated why not have a flick through some of your old art work, writing, photography, whatever it may be, and let yourself remember how it felt to create and share that with others.
  3. Stop worrying about creating a finished piece. Often we focus so much on the end goal that we lose sight of the process. We want a nice, neat product to show others as soon as possible. As I'm sure we've all figured out by now, it takes a lot of failure to get something you feel confident with sharing. As a hand-letterer, the frustration of wasted paper is one of my biggest discouragements. However I'm realizing now that every smudge and mistake is part of the journey and has value. Why not get your hands on a journal that's simply for the process, the scribbles and jotting of ideas throughout the day. Then use those doodles to inspire your final piece of writing, music, art or whatever project you're working on.