After sharing a few weeks ago about my experience blogging each week for a year, a number of people asked me where I got my inspiration from, and what approach did I take to find inspiration.
And so, in the interests of sharing my experience, this week's post is all about inspiration, where I find it and how I utilise it.
To be honest, if I had really thought about it, knowing a year ago that I would blog every single week for a year, would've felt very daunting. And perhaps even a little scary.
But what I've that inspiration can be found almost anywhere, and generally turns up just in time. Each time I was concerned that I may not have anything to write about, invariably the words would come. It might be the day before, or it might be the weekend before. But inspiration would arrive and out would flow the ideas to form a post.
Inspiration can be found anywhere
Inspiration to write a blog post that helps provide information or serves my audience can be found in many situations, or whilst doing many different activities.
Some of the places that I have been inspired with an idea, or even the bulk of the content for a blog post include;
walking (in nature or just along the street)
listening to a podcast
reading a book
lying in bed trying to sleep
reading a magazine
chatting to friends
coaching with clients
Inspiration is not always convenient
Because inspiration can be a fleeting thing, it can arrive when I am nowhere near paper, pen or laptop. And so, I frequently use the notes function on my smart phone to jot down ideas or sentences.
After realising I was having a lot of great ideas whilst driving the car, I knew I needed a way to capture my thoughts that did not involve my phone (since distracted driving is a major problem). As a small improvement to my regular commute, I added a post-it note pad and pen to the centre console in my car. And now, I can capture a few words when I arrive at my destination. These few words are often enough to remind me of the thought that inspired the idea for an article or post.
I also use the dictate (or voice recording) function on my phone. I used to record into the voice memo and then have to type it up. This was great but I often forgot to listen to them again and therefore never typed them up! So whilst I'd got the idea out of my head, it hadn't gone anywhere else.
Then I discovered the dictate function on my phone and there was no looking back! I can dictate directly into the notes app, and the technology captures my words and types them for me. It's like magic! Of course, there are challenges; it doesn't always capture the word I mean (e.g. the word failure is recorded as 'fayla' - but I suspect that might be due to speed of my speech and my accent!), and often doesn't record words I have said. This results in draft posts that appear as gobbledygook and bear no resemblance to the words I have spoken!
But I persevere with using the dictate function. Most valuably, it means when inspiration strikes and sentences come fully formed, I can capture them quickly and easily.
Creativity sparks inspiration
Sometimes writing or using words can feel too restrictive. Other times, the feeling and ideas are there, but not the words. It's at these times when actively choosing to play and engage in different ways helps re-spark creativity and inspiration.
You may hear people say they cannot be creative until they are inspired. I have found the opposite works well too! Finding time to pursue other creative pursuits that are not word based can help bring inspiration for the word based activities. The type of creative pursuit varies, encompassing physical movement (dancing or even just walking), to other creative endeavours like sewing, painting or even planning a new craft or DIY project.
Inspiration can be found anywhere, if you are prepared to look and be open to it. And if you are feeling stuck, take a little time to play, be creative in a different field. Inspiration will no doubt be visiting soon after! And if not, at least you've had some fun!
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