One of my biggest hesitations when deciding if and when to start this blog was that I wasn’t sure that I would have enough to write about each and every week.
While there were general topics that I knew I wanted to cover, what I lacked was a system or a mental checklist that I could use to help turn my broad thoughts into focused and relevant bits of insight.
If you’re a fellow creative, I’m sure that you can relate. When it comes to any creative endeavor, what often holds me back the most is that never-ending search for the perfect idea. For many of us, that ‘big idea’ signals that it’s possible to move forward and, without it, we feel like we’re stuck at the starting line. While it is true that inspiration exists everywhere, looking to external sources may not always lead you down the right path. For example, I’ve found that whenever I read other blogs for inspiration – even the blogs that I love the most – my ability to come up with an idea decreases rather than increases. What happens instead is that I am either so consumed by others’ ideas that I can’t come up with my own original ones or I become so intimidated by their work that I am even more discouraged about my ability to create something great.
When I need to be inspired, the only real place to look for an idea is inward. Click To Tweet
What I’ve come to realize over time is that when I need to be inspired, the only real place that I can look for an idea is inward. This applies particularly to those projects where the work is meant to be personal, introspective, and reflective – as is true for this blog. So now, the present moment has become my primary inspiration, and I make sure to keep that in mind any time that I have a creative project in the works.
The most important benefit that comes with using your daily life as a jumping off point is that anything you come away with is guaranteed to be true and authentic to you, which will resonate strongly with those who are reading or interacting with your work.
In order to tap into the present moment for inspiration, I ask myself the following questions:
- What experiences did I have today? Where did I struggle? Where did I succeed?
- What did I learn about myself today?
- If I had to experience today all over again, how would I approach it differently?
I do this exercise right before I go to sleep, when the day’s events are still fresh in my mind. The key is to not be selective when thinking about your answers. Give every experience a chance, whether good or bad, big or small. After 10-15 minutes of running through these questions, I almost always have at least one idea that I can move forward with. Often times, I have a list of five or six.
So, the next time you’re in search of an idea, I invite you to take some time to think about these questions. I’m sure that you’ll be surprised by what you end up with.