Sparks of Creative Inspiration

Posted by Ryann Malone - August, 14 2014

It only takes a spark, to get a fire going…

You know, there is a lot of truth in that old campfire song. A spark, a lit fuse, a push, inspiration… As a self-proclaimed creative person working in a creative field for over (cough, cough) 25+ years, I’ve had my share of blank moments. We all do. When you spend time always trying to propel the thing that normally seems unstoppable, sometimes you need a little help. Here is a short list of things I have done in the past that helps get that little choo-choo out of the creative wheel house.

Step away from the desk… Nothin’ to see here, folks

First and foremost, walk away. Get away from the place where you do all your writing, Googling, Facebook-checking, bill paying, YouTube watching… Is it any wonder you can’t get a fresh idea of your own when you’re stuck in the mud of your everyday computer trap? Roll that chair back, skootch out, stand up, and walk away. Go sit by a tree.

Hand me that receipt…

Back in the day" it was a small spiral pocket notebook. Nowadays, it’s the Notes app on your Smartphone or tablet. Po-tay-toe, po-taah-toe. It’s the same thing: Have a readily accessible place or means to write something down. It might be a word. A phrase. A funny line from the morning drive radio show. Don’t make your memory hold on to it for a long time. Write it, and forget it. You’ll see it later when you are ready to really spend time digging into it. And, if perchance you don’t remember what or why you wrote it down, well then maybe it wasn’t the spark that was meant to set your fire.

Make your own kind of music...

Okay, so this is not a point-by-point linear directivethat’s part of  the “be creative” aspect of this blog… But if you ARE actually walking away from your desk, or in your car, or jogging on the treadmill: change the station. No, seriously. I’m not a huge “country music” fan, but on occasion I will switch over to that section of my Sirius XM satellite radio and just fill my senses with twang and geetars and country charm all around. It gets me to a world I don’t normally inhabit. Now, if country IS your thing (not that there’s anything wrong with that), then bounce on over to hip hop. Or broadway. Or conservative talk radio. The idea is simple: something different.

Like a circle in a spiral…

This past summer I was lucky enough to take a trip to Alaska where I was basically FORCED off the grid. Can I tell you now how refreshing that was? Apart from the delicious cooler temperatures, not “checking in” every few minutes really gave my mind time to flex, to drain, and really time to heal. I returned to my work with a sense of renewal. Agreed, that was a one time, forced-upon thing. The trick is to try and replicate that in my everyday life. And you should, too. If you’re a schedule freak (like some of us can be), go ahead and schedule that down time and hold fast to it! Don’t let anything else creep in and take over it. Use that empty space to enjoy the emptiness of doing nothing. You’ll be surprised how hungry your creative monster will be after some vacation.

Did any of this help? It’s probably nothing new, nor nothing you haven’t thought of yourself. But sometimes it's good just to remind ourselves what it takes for these human creatures to function. And by function, I mean to come up with the most brilliant creative idea EVER!

Happy vegging, and happy creating!


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