It doesn’t matter what you need it for- a science experiment, a workout, novel, a fashion design- you need inspiration.
Inspiration plays hard to get. It usually doesn’t like to find us, so we have to go looking for it. And you don’t always find it right away. It can take days or weeks or even months.
This, my friends, is called a rut. And I’ve been in one. We all have.
One of my life philosophies is that if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results.
In other words, nothing ever happens if you don’t change something. You won’t find inspiration if you don’t go looking. So here’s where to look (for free):
- Travel. By travel, I mean get out of your apartment and go somewhere other than Starbucks. You don’t have to bust the bank to feel like you’ve gone somewhere new, and it can be anything from the flea market at the next town over to a spontaneous weekend trip to Hawaii (I wish). The point is to go out of your way and see something different. Even if it just means driving a different way home.
- Go through your dad’s record collection. Or CD collection. Or whatever outdated thing you still own. Why is this better than finding music on Spotify? Because nothing can replace the sound of a whole album, played all the way through in its full static-y glory. The old masters (think the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd) created their music to be listened to as an album, and listening to music out of the context of your computer can do wonders for your creativity. You might also have the startling realization that you like Phil Collins, and that is ok. All part of the journey.
- Visit a museum. Maybe you think they’re boring. Maybe you think they’re dorky. Maybe you don’t like being quiet. That’s ok. Try anyways. Most museums have certain days where you can get free admission, and most museums have really cool stuff for people who don’t like museums (like things you’re allowed to touch instead of plaques you have to read). Example: The City Museum in St. Louis, which is basically a playground for adults.
- People watch. The airport is hands down the best place to do this, but if you don’t happen to be a frequent flier, a mall works too. Netflix is great and all, but sometimes you can get better entertainment from people watching. And most importantly, you’ll get inspired. By observing others, you can pick up on any number of things- fashion, conversation, language, what happens when someone has had too much to drink and tries to pull a stop sign out of the ground (something you see from your balcony when you live in a college town). Alternative activity: go to the zoo and watch monkeys. It’s oddly similar.
- Drink coffee. If all else fails, caffeine will have your back. But for the sake of doing something different, try a new coffee shop. Get a double shot of espresso for me.
The search is on. Good luck and keep looking!