Sunday, 5 July 2015

Seeking Inspiration

     I’m having a bit of a block at the moment, and sometimes I’ve found one way to deal with that is to write it out. Let’s try. Regular readers will already have spotted that this post is a day late. Yesterday was actually my day off, but I was so tired from my first full week back working at summer school, that I struggled to write anything. It didn’t help that I couldn’t figure out what to write about. I’m concerned that this may continue to be the case over the next few weeks, as this job sucks up a lot of my time.

Creative inspiration quote in hand lettering
(source)
     The last month was consumed by my Central American Adventure, but now I’m back into my usual writing routine, I’m feeling stuck. I have my stock of regular features, which I often resort back to when nothing much has been happening in life - Travel Inspiration, Musically Inspired, 642 Things - but I also don’t want to overuse these. Both you and I will get fed up pretty fast if I did that, so I try to throw in other posts in between. I also always have a list of possible ideas for posts, but even that is running a bit dry recently. I feel like I need something really new. So I think it’s time to find some new inspiration; and here’s where I’m going to start looking.

1. Other blogs
Blogging is a community. It can be very easy to get caught up in your own little corner of the internet, especially with the pressure of promoting your blog. But remember, it’s content that will make you successful, so make time for that! And don’t forget to explore and engage with others, who might have a lot in common with you. It’s important to keep your blog unique and your own, but posts from other blogs can be a great source of inspiration. Often I’ll read someone else’s post, then write about my own opinion on the matter. Magazines and the like can offer the same thing too. A good idea here is to link back to the original post, and let the blogger know you have, which increases your engagement and potential readership!

2. Books, music, films
Writing is an art form, and there are plenty of others out there. Whether you go for a straight forward review of something, or latch on to an idea found in another art form which prompts your writing, the works of others can be great for inspiration. My own ‘Musically Inspired’ series was birthed from this sort of idea, where I simply write about what a particular song, or even just a lyric from one, makes me think of. There’s no rules or limitations on this, as I can go off down any sort of tangent my mind finds. Again though, avoiding outright stealing the ideas of others!

3. The internet
We all use it every day - many of us use it far too much! But there’s no denying the internet is a huge, global resource, giving us access to all sorts of things that we never had before. You can stumble across so many things online, and you never know what could suddenly inspire you. An article someone shared on Twitter, an exciting image on Instagram or Pinterest, a text post on Tumblr…. And even if you don’t write about something straight away, scribble all your thoughts down, so you’ve got a stockpile for days when new thoughts do seem to be in short supply.

4. Get out
Definitely my number one choice for seeking new inspiration. While the internet in your bedroom can seem tempting, the best way to find something new is to get outside. Arm yourself with a notebook and camera, and go exploring. People watch from a cafe, get lost in a new area, or even city, try a new hobby or craft… just get out and do something. Either inspiration will hit, or at the very least, you have an experience to write about. Even a collection of photos can be an interesting blog post, with minimal writing. And just look at my last month of travel posts, which would never had happened if I’d stayed home! The internet can show you a lot of stuff, but it’s not a substitute for real world experiences.

     This last point is what I really wish I could do right now, but as I said, work limits my time to do this. And this year, I’m no longer an activity leader going out to do things, but am now management, and will spend an awful lot of time in the office. The internet and other art forms may have to suffice for the time being, but I’m also going to ask for one more source of inspiration; you. If anyone out there has any suggestions for things they’d like to see me write about, I’m all ears. Make it as weird and wonderful as you want. People populate our lives, and are fascinating and complex, and the ultimate source of most other source of inspiration. 

     However, when all of this is said and done, the only thing to do is keep trying. I could waste so much time searching for inspiration and never find it. Instead, I have to keep writing. Even if I spew out pages of nonsense before hitting on something good again, if I spend forever waiting for inspiration for hit, or even looking for it, eventually this blog would peter away into nothing. Take this post for instance. I’m writing about my lack of writing sources, but at least I’m writing. I’m venting out my frustration, yes, and perhaps it’s not the most exciting read on this website, but it’s something. It’s a start. And I have to keep writing, or I’ll lose my motivation and momentum, and it makes it even harder to get back to it again. I’ll do my best to keep posting regularly, but you might have to bear with my slightly over the next few weeks. Hopefully life will get exciting again soon!

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