I am writing this off five hours of sleep. Fatigue has stolen my ability to form thoughts and a need for sleep has replaced my need for ideas. At such times when a lack of inspiration is the result of a lack of sleep, the answer is not to simply take a nap. That would be wasting precious hours of thought and potential ideas. Sleep is never the answer. No, when you're lacking inspiration, the solution is clear: find inspiration. That sounds really easy but if you've ever been without inspiration and looked for it, you know it isn't that simple. To find inspiration, you must know what it is, and that leads us to the question, what is inspiration?
My two favorite dictionary definitions are the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative and a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea. My personal definition of inspiration is a combination of these: inspiration is a physical object (including things that aren't exactly physical such as writing and fragrances) that makes you think something new, or remember something from the past.
Times when the only part of your head working is your eyes are the perfect time to soak in inspiration. Even if you can't conjure up ideas, or words to convey those ideas, certain things are bound to get your mind moving. And I know this because I've just come out of an inspiration-less rut of my eyes skimming over computer screens and printed pages, waiting for something to jump out and inspire.
To find inspiration there has to be a need for it. I'm always amazed at how much I get done during a school day, and that is because there is a priority to get things done. Give yourself deadlines and things will get done.
My last piece of advice for getting inspired is one that I've used many times before, from finding personal style to organizing coffee table books. Don't turn your nose up at anything because inspiration can come from anywhere. What was this post inspired by? A lack of inspiration.
Photos by Kelly O'Connor.