As artists and creatives we're constantly looking for inspiration and motivation. Something that will move us. Something that will spark an idea and catapult us to another fulfilling work of art. The challenge comes when we're not motivated and we can't seem to find any inspiration.
I have gone through multiple of dry spells and writing blocks. Seasons where it seems anything creative is light years away from me. Often times just walking away from the pen and paper and waiting for them to call me back, someday. I've gone weeks without writing a single word, creating a melody or imagining another story. So now what?
I've been learning to take different approaches when the well runs dry. When inspiration is gone, and you're just not motivated here are few things I do that you may find helpful.
* Write anyway. Write down the reasons you feel you are at loss for words. Write down those dark sentiments of why you don't have anything left to say. Write down the reasons you chose this path of artistry in the first place. Believe me that some of your most profound and honest work is often birthed in the trenches. Your brightest work will come from your darkest moments. In order to get to the root, you must dig. A seed will die in your hands, but will flourish in the deepest of earth.
* Pick up a book, a newspaper, or a magazine and read it. Take it in your hands and feel the textures in your finger tips as you turn from page to page. Now don't get me wrong, I love technology, iPhones, iPads etc I own them too. But there's something magical about picking up a written work of art, holding it in your hands and reading it. Looking at all the flaws in the paper or where the letters didn't get enough ink. And there is less temptation of checking in on your favorite social media Avenue. Reading someone's written work will not only distract and occupy your mind from the creative droughts you are experiencing, but it will re-open your thoughts and get your creative engines going again. Chances are you won't finish that last chapter because you don't want to lose the idea that just came to you.
* Music. So many genres, so many artists. The lists are endless. I gravitate to a select groups and artists that are my favorites and keep them on repeat. But from time to time, picking up a random artist, band or timed piece is a great way to shock your ears and get your mind ticking in the right direction. You'll hear new sounds and melodies that will trigger inspiration from a different Vantage point from which you are used to. You'll be shocked at where the musical source of inspiration will come form.
It's an amazing feeling when we are motivated by something outside of our own day to day! A picture, a speech, a smile, a fashion statement. But that is not the case all the time. So what should you do? Motivate yourself! Don't wait on anyone, a moment or that perfect sunset. It's probably not going to happen anytime soon, so go make it and experience it! Create your own! Get your ass up and move! Could it be a walk? A Run? A phone call to a friend or loved one? Re-arrange some things in your office? Go out and grab some lunch or dinner? We can go on and on with so many things you can do. The key word is that, "DO". Do something when you are least motivated to do so. The outcome is always rewarding.
Silence. Sometimes the best thing you will do today is sitting outside or inside and just listen. Listen to your surroundings. Listen to the sounds of nature in the country or to the loud and fast sounds of the city. Listen to yourself breath for once! Listen out for the things you've never given a chance to be heard.
Hope these help as much as they have helped me. Will these solve the creative epidemic of hitting a wall? Absolutely not, but it will stretch you as an artist. You will begin to grow into your own. You will find new ways. Discover new roads and practices. It will bring us closer to our next level of artistry. What do you do to motivate yourself during a creative drought?