How do you stay inspired?

07/10/2016 Blogging, Discussions, Personal, Uncategorized, Writing 27

How do you stay inspired?

Recently, I’ve just been feeling soย uninspired. I’ve only really been posting once a week on here due to my lack of motivation, and reading itself has seemed a chore at times. Plus my novel writing has yet again ground to a halt: it literally feels like every time I say ‘hey, my novel is going well!’, I’m bound to lose the plot almost immediately.

I’m not even entirely sure what the problem is. Maybe it’s just because it’s been a stressful couple of weeks with one thing or another (job interviews, family stuff, life decision stuff, etc.), or maybe it’s just one of those phases you go through as a creative person. Maybe it’s just that I’ve started watching ‘The Walking Dead’, and so now all I want to do when I get home from work is curl up with my tea and watch some zombies get shot! Who knows, but it has been super annoying, so I’ve been trying so hard to get myself out of my uninspired funk.

So far it seems to be working a little bit: I’ve posted on here a little more frequently the last few days, and I’m currently making headway with Outlander (not much novel writing yet, but I have a plan for that!). So I thought I’d share my ways of staying inspired, and if you have any tips yourself I’d love to hear them (I need all the help I can get!)!

  • Reading Blogs.

One of the main things that inspired me to start my own blog was reading others, and so I think sometimes when you feel uninspired with blogging the best thing to do is read some blogs and remind yourself why you love it. When you hit a slump you can start to feel disconnected from the blogging world, and so if you go and read some of your old favourites, it can be a gateway back in.

Reading other blogger’s posts might also spark off some ideas for your own (although of course taking inspiration is fine – copying is not!) and you may find yourself burning to write a blog post!

  • Doing something different.

Sometimes I wonder if my lack of inspiration in my blogging life is due to boredom around my content. It can easy to fall into a bit of a creative rut, and so trying something even slightly different can be refreshing. My Life Lately posts are a product of that, and I do really enjoy writing them! It’s nice to just do a chatty update kind of a post for a bit of a change from all the purely bookish stuff (however much I do love writing it!).

  • Trying different mediums.

Most creative people have a preferred branch (or branches) of creativity they prefer; so for some it’s drawing or painting or playing guitar, and for others, like me, it’a writing. So sometimes if you’re just not feeling your usual creative pursuits, I think it can be helpful to try another, just to get those creative juices flowing somehow.

For example, I’ve tried just doing a bit of doodling recently with some marker pens, and whilst the things I’ve created have been terrible in my opinion (drawing has definitely never been my forte!), it’s been relaxing, and has got me excited about creating again.

  • Getting out and about.

My creative slumps always tend to come at times when I’ve not really done anything or been anywhere other than work and home. When that’s the case I think it’s so easy to become lethargic and just sit at home and watch TV instead of being productive, or doing the things you normally enjoy.

However, I personally find that going out and doing things gives me energy, which I can then carry over to my reading and blogging, and sometimes something will even spark an idea whilst I’m out.

  • Forcing yourself to work without inspiration.ย 

I’m sure I’ve heard a quote somewhere that says something along the lines of ‘inspiration comes from starting’, and to an extent I think that’s true. If you force yourself to write when you don’t necessarily feel inspired, then there’s a reasonable chance you’ll get into it after a while and inspiration will take flight. Showing up is half the battle, and so that’s what I’ve been trying to do these last few days with my blog!

I also have a plan along these lines for my novel – November is fast approaching and with it NaNoWriMo, and I’m thinking of using that challenge to complete the draft of the novel I’m writing. Hopefully a bit of discipline (plus a sense of camaraderie with millions of other writers!) will reignite my inspiration!

So how do you stay inspired?

27 Responses to “How do you stay inspired?”

  1. nordie @ writing about books

    Some people find “The Artist’s way” is helpful….no matter your niche, the trick is to do “morning pages” to dump your negativity onto the page 1st thing. You then have weekly creativity dates, so take the camera out, go to a museum, sit in a park and draw the trees/flowers, read a different kind of book, that kind of thing.

    So, you’re probably already doing some things covered by the book such as your doodling….

    • Laura

      I’ve heard of ‘The Artist’s Way’ and always thought it sounds really intriguing, and I can definitely see why that sort of thing works for a lot of people. I’ll definitely have to check that out and try it, so thanks for the suggestions! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Inspiration is hard. I usually just force myself to push through without it. Doing something different is good, too. Blogging can be extremely repetitive. Iโ€™ve been searching for 2017 blogging challenges to help get out of the rut. Iโ€™d like to shake things up a little next year to keep myself from getting bored.

    • Laura

      I think pushing through it is probably the only way to truly get through a lack of inspiration. Surely it will hit eventually if you just keep on going? I know what you mean about blogging being repetitive though, and I think that’s partly behind my lack of inspiration. I just can’t think of anything new to write about.
      I think challenges can be great for shaking things up though, so best of luck with them! I’m going to try NaNoWriMo again I think this year for my fiction writing, and then I may look out for a good blogging challenge for in the new year too ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Laura

    I know EXACTLY what you mean – I just did my first blog post for ages, after months of feeling really ‘meh’ about the whole thing. But then I remembered how much I want to write and I just had to force myself to punch something out. I think you are right about doing something whether you are inspired or not – writing is hard, and sometimes you just have to do it. I’m thinking NaNoWriMo might be just the thing to kick my ass as well! Good luck!!

    • Laura

      I’m glad you can relate! I have felt kind of ‘meh’ about blogging too recently, and the only way I’ve managed to post anything is by just forcing myself to write at least something every week. I hope we both start to feel more inspired soon, and best of luck with NaNoWriMo! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Got My Book

    I am currently working on something to help with this. I put up a list of things that need to be done. I then work on whichever one I am most “inspired” to tackle. I have to pick something. Sometimes by getting started, I am then able to switch over to what actually needs to be done most. I just started this in the past week, so I can’t tell if it will keep working.

    My most recent discussion: Whetting Your Appetite or Pure Torture: Excerpts

    • Laura

      That sounds like such a good idea! I’m definitely going to have to try that. I really hope it’s working for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Got My Book

        It’s been interesting. I’ve spent more than a decade playing with & tweaking various digital planning apps.

        This is just:
        –several regular pieces of paper, each labelled with a major task area (such as House or Blog), stuck to the wall
        –tasks written on yellow stickies stuck to the proper paper

        I think the reason it is helping is because it is in my face all the time, whereas I have to actively seek out my planning pages elsewhere.

        • Laura

          Yeah, I can see how that would be quite helpful if you can literally see it all the time! I’ll definitely have to try that out ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    With great difficulty. Sometimes inspiration comes from all over in blogs, random thoughts, reading books and everyday life and sometimes I am stuck. I find inspiration always strikes whilst I’m doing other things and I don’t always have a chance to write down my initial ideas and sometimes my ideas peter out as I start writing them and I realise they are not worthy of a full blog post.

    One thing I do like is lists of post ideas when I’m truly stuck in a rut. When I was writing I used to like those story prompts you could get where it might be a word or a phrase and you have to create a story out of it. I like having something similar for blogging as then how you choose to interpret it will be all your own. It’s the same with TTT posts, everyone has their own ideas but I like doing that without listing a bunch of books.

    • Laura

      It’s just so tough sometimes to stay inspired! I find myself getting random inspiration from everywhere sometimes too, and then other times I can’t think of a thing, even if I really rack my brains. And that’s definitely happened too when I’ve started working on an idea and it has just come to nothing for some reason.
      I’ve definitely found that list posts can be good for if I’m really struggling too, and prompts are always helpful! I always like seeing how different everyones TTT posts are, even when they have all come from the same prompt or are around the same theme ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I totally agree with the last point you made!! Isn’t there a quote that says “you can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club?” BECAUSE THAT BE ME. I make schedules and I stick to them no matter if I’m feeling inspired or not.? So if November 1st rolls round and I’m not inspired for my novel…you can bet I’m still plunking myself in front of the keyboard and typing! But I do get creative slumps too *nods* I like to watch movies/TV shows to get inspired (but if it’s a TV show I usually have to finish out a season or else I can’t stop thinking about it ahah) and I like to read REALLY good books that just motivate me to go do something awesome! I mean whether or not I achieve that is debatable. But it’s the inspiration that counts, right?!?

    • Laura

      That’s probably the quote I was thinking of! I’ve spent ages googling things around it trying to remember what it was (whilst procrastinating of course!), and still had nothing more than a vague idea that I’d heard something like that before ๐Ÿ™‚
      I think being strict with myself, and making a schedule and sticking to it is the only way to go really. I’m going to aspire to your level of discipline! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I like the idea of using TV shows and movies as inspiration, and really good books always seem to make me want to write (even if I end up just being disheartened because my writing is nowhere near as good!). The inspiration is definitely the most important thing though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Lia Levina

    I’ve been feeling uninspired lately too! And I haven’t done much reading in the past month.. Maybe because Mr. Robot has been stealing all my attention that I’ve been abandoning my books. Sometimes I just let it flow, though. For me, usually the inspiration will come in the unexpected time and when I don’t force it. Because when I do, it’s often not good enough and I end up become frustrated with it!

    • Laura

      It totally sucks doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ™
      I’ve heard Mr. Robot is meant to be really good though, so I’m glad you’re enjoying it, even if it is stealing you away from your books. Maybe I’ll have to finally watch that after The Walking Dead (although I should really stop getting distracted by TV shows! I just get addicted when I find a series I like – the same thing happened when I got into Pretty Little Liars!).
      Inspiration does often come at random, unexpected times for me too though, so I’m hoping it will strike soon (and I hope it does for you too!) ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Lia Levina

        Yeah I should stay away from TV shows too! My friend has been trying to get me into Breaking Bad, and if I start watching it now I’ll never get back to my blog haha.
        Aah thanks! Bloggers motivating each other is what we all need ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Laura

          Breaking Bad is another thing I’ve been meaning to watch for ages! I’ve seen some of it, but not all of it, although I really need to resist starting it again if I want to get any writing done.
          That’s so true! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura

      Yeah, I think sometimes a break can be beneficial! I’m probably going to take a break on the novel front until November anyway, so hopefully that will take the pressure off for a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Ohhh I feel you. I lose inspiration a LOT. And it is so hard to find it again- seems to be harder every time, really. I usually do the last thing- work through it, because nothing else has ever really worked for me. I DO love reading other blogs, SO much, but then that gets into a time constraint, and then I am all flustered again, and UGH. Basically, I KNOW that the thing that’d be the most helpful for me would be giving myself some breathing room, but I have no idea how. It’s such a struggle. There’s so much I want to do, and so little time, that then I become discouraged and don’t even want to do the stuff I thought I had. Then I fall further behind and… vicious cycle! I am going to have to try some of these tips- and some of those in the comments section too! This is a fabulous post! And good luck in NaNo- I am going to be doing the same, and just kind of… hoping something comes together ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Laura

      I hate that vicious cycle so much! I know exactly what you mean about trying to read other blogs too. It helps me get inspired, but it can get pretty time consuming too, which then leads to me not getting much done anyway. I think working through it is probably the best way to go, even if on the surface it doesn’t seem like the most attractive option because it’s just so hard to keep going when you feel uninspired ๐Ÿ™
      Best of luck with NaNo, anyway. I’m sure something will come together! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf

    For blogging, I mostly go out and about or force myself to work through it so I have something to post. Then the latter makes me go out and about to take my mind off of blogging for a while because I don’t like what I produce when I felt frustration with it. I read other blogs, but it usually isn’t for the purpose of inspiration (yet I find many posts inspiring).

    • Laura

      Getting out and about is a good plan for keeping inspired (and taking your mind off your blogging frustrations, as you say!), but I often have to just force myself to work through it too. Sometimes it’s the only way! Thanks for commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

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