Tips on maintaining and nurturing inspiration.

Hotsauce84Hotsauce84 8,451 Posts
edited September 2010 in Strut Central
So lately I've been seeing or doing things that make my heart race with inspiration. I'm literally on a high right at that moment, but then just like that, the excitement fades and my motivation is gone.

Anybody have tips on how to harness, bottle and/or maintain that level of inspiration so that I can create once I get to a time and place where I can?

I know it's an odd question and it's probably not worded the best way, but I think you guys get the gist of what I'm saying.

  Comments


  • bluesnagbluesnag 1,285 Posts
    Herm said:
    So lately I've been seeing or doing things that make my heart race with inspiration. I'm literally on a high right at that moment, but then just like that, the excitement fades and my motivation is gone.

    Anybody have tips on how to harness, bottle and/or maintain that level of inspiration so that I can create once I get to a time and place where I can?

    I know it's an odd question and it's probably not worded the best way, but I think you guys get the gist of what I'm saying.

    I kind of know what you mean. The only method I have is to jump on that shit as quickly as possible and ride that shit as long as possible, like catching that big wave. They may not come that often so you have to get on that with the quickness. Sometimes I have to try to manufacture the inspiration and that is not so easy but occasionally gets me somewhere.

  • sticky_dojahsticky_dojah New York City...humanheadnyc.com 2,110 Posts
    It's called "the zone"...get in there while you can and don't let yourself be distracted...simple, yet highly complicated...

  • AlmondAlmond 1,427 Posts
    What kinds of things, H?
    Mid-life crisis?
    I have a third-of-life crisis every week.
    Keep buying stuff. Whoever says $ can't buy you happiness is a broke fool.

  • ReynaldoReynaldo 6,054 Posts
    Inspiration is soft. Put in your 10,000 hours.

  • Options
    Reynaldo said:
    Inspiration is soft. Put in your 10,000 hours.

    Inspiration is valuable, the initial investment is more important.

    Now, is a good time to make some trades, and invest some time in them. I'm thinking about selling my computer and buying a mobile DJ unit because the one I use currently sucks a lot, and is kinda high maintenance.

  • nzshadownzshadow 5,515 Posts
    i know the feeling, it comes in strong waves and then when the tide is out, you are empty.

    it sounds simple, but i always just go for a walk. preferably to a part of town i am unfamilier with, i take a camera and get lost.

    maybe try another creative endeavor that is not your primary one, EG, snap pics if you are a producer, make beats if you are a writer kind of thing.

    the key is to be in unfamilier surroundings out of your comfort zone with no pressure to create, you will find it comes back easier than you think.

    if you are looking for a longterm thing, i can recommend working with old folks or kids, even if it is only a couple hours a week (or month) their perspectives are different to yours and keep you on your toes.

    and notes, make lots of them during your crative spells, just train of thought 'keep the hand moving' type scibblings, these will serve as sources of inspiration during your dry spells, there are nuggets in those pages of scrawlings.

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    Focus more on why something is inspiring you, and less on the thing itself. If you can learn something of how your own mind works, and why things affect you the way they do, then it becomes easier to internalize inspiration and become your own electricity, and to then rely less on lightning-strikes from without. Expending your energies trying to capture objects or recreate moments--you know, chasing capital-I Inspiration!???--is folly. I mean, looking at the ocean or following sunsets or going to Prague or whatever may work on occasion and for a while, but the tide must recede and the night must come and the kafe must close, and without making real, sustained effort to understand how you think and how certain things work on you, you will assuredly end up the kind of motherfucker that has to buy their gravy in a can, if you know what I mean.

    And I would second nzshadow's comments about keeping notes, and would add that it's a great way to do an important thing, which is to divorce inspiration from reliance on special tools and circumstances. A canvas and some paint? That's hard. A yoga mat and a solid hour of quiet? That's hard. A pen and some paper? Easy.

  • Having a phone with a voice recorder is invaluable. Before those were common I carried around a little voice recorder from radio shack.

    Cosign on the walks, too.

  • Many good tips so far. Doing walks works, hiking works even better. Getting lost too. For me making notes is crucial. I maintain an inspiration book since many years and I write down pages of concepts as well as stupid little ideas or even puns I come up with in a moment. Somehow I find my inspiration conserved in these pages when I go back to old ideas and I can easily pick them up again whenever I'm running out of new ideas.
    Going to exhibition and museums is always useful and getting drunk with people you share the same kind of humour with. Whenever I spend time with the buddies I know since schooldays, I come back home with a truckload full of fresh ideas.

  • I'm a visual type, and have kept a sketchbook for years. So when my imagination kicks in it goes into the book. The ideas accumulate and over time some get fleshed out and others get ditched. Kinda like the recorder idea I guess.

    This may sound corny, but my kids a constant source of inspiration. As they learn about the world I relive/rediscover things that I had forgotten about years ago.

  • CBearCBear 902 Posts
    Check your local city college courses. I just started taking woodworking at Palomar College. I'm learning tons and stoked on life.

    Buying things is a band-aid fix, but it does work. Just picked this up:



    I now have lots to learn about Fords.

  • nzshadow said:
    and notes, make lots of them during your crative spells, just train of thought 'keep the hand moving' type scibblings, these will serve as sources of inspiration during your dry spells, there are nuggets in those pages of scrawlings.


    This is my shit right here...

    www.evernote.com

  • To paraphrase: Accomplishment is 1% inspiration 99% perspiration.

    Basically, you have to pick one inspiration and see it through. This will mean letting other inspirations fall by the wayside, but that beats the hell out of letting all of them fall by the wayside.

  • nzshadow said:

    and notes, make lots of them during your crative spells, just train of thought 'keep the hand moving' type scibblings, these will serve as sources of inspiration during your dry spells, there are nuggets in those pages of scrawlings.

    hey this is an awesome tip, im really glad you mentioned this.

  • Otis_Funkmeyer said:
    Having a phone with a voice recorder is invaluable. Before those were common I carried around a little voice recorder from radio shack.

    i still use one of those for musical ideas.

  • JimsterJimster Twilight Zone/ Al Capone/ Rolling Stone/ Eva Perón 6,269 Posts
    The Strut being remarkably mature on this thread - No-one mentioned drugs yet

  • Pearls of wisdom from NZ (as per usual). Co-sign on the notes too, I have started always carrying a notepad since my iphone died (RIP... you are missed).

    Some of those old tricks to get your left brain working are good if you are having a creative block. Try drawing with a continuous line without looking at the page, or drawing/writing with your non dominant hand. I have actually ended up using refined versions of these doodlings as a start point for illustrations or logo designs.

    I also like plating music at a low volume from another room than i'm in. It's barely perseptable but seems to help me keep my brain flowing and focused when i'm having trouble keeping to task. Likewise, playing some free jazz crazyness quite loud tends to push my brain into directions that I normally wouldn't go.

    This is also great working music for me, but everyone is different : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_Away_Trains_Passing_By

  • smoking_robot said:
    Otis_Funkmeyer said:
    Having a phone with a voice recorder is invaluable. Before those were common I carried around a little voice recorder from radio shack.

    i still use one of those for musical ideas.

    sounds like a good idea. I don't have a cellphone so every once in a while you can catch me running to a payphone to phone home and sing like a crazy person just to record bits of verses, choruses etc on the answerphone that have just occurred to me the minute I walk out of the studio (of course). Which is why frequent walks are also a good recommendation...you think you're done for the day, just hit the streets.

  • nzshadownzshadow 5,515 Posts
    smoking_robot said:
    nzshadow said:

    and notes, make lots of them during your crative spells, just train of thought 'keep the hand moving' type scibblings, these will serve as sources of inspiration during your dry spells, there are nuggets in those pages of scrawlings.

    hey this is an awesome tip, im really glad you mentioned this.

    It works.

    And for inspiration for writers (of any kind) I cannot recommend THIS book highly enough.

    I have been stranded in the middle of a creative wasteland, completly and utterly devoid of a single useable idea, only to be saved within minutes by this book.
Sign In or Register to comment.