So, I’ve decided to get a job. Like, a boring, average, nine-to-five sort of job. Just part time. And I realised this was a good idea for two reasons. Firstly, I’m getting to that sort of age where I want to be thinking about mortgages and other boring grown up things. Secondly (and more relevantly for this post) it’s these interactions that inspire.
We have to take inspiration wherever we can find it, and most likely it’s going to be in interacting with other human beings. However brilliant we may think we are, however many stories burn inside us, just sitting in our writing room scratching the far corners of our brains to etch out a story isn’t going to work. We need to be around people, to hear how their voices inflect, see what they see and how they live. Staying inspired means staying with the living, not just with memory or imagination.
So I was chatting about staying inspired with my brother, who’s a graphic designer, and he gave me a couple of ideas.
-Keep reading, keep looking around on the internet, keep finding out what people are doing in your field.
-Stay interested. If you’re not interested in other people, anything you create is basically masturbatory.
-Watch TED talks. There’s some great creativity and innovation there, even looking at things outside your field is research. Find what interests you.
-Stay healthy and active. A good burst of endorphins, or even the fresh air from a good walk can give you a fresh perspective.
-Trust your process, but don’t get angry if it changes. Human adapt, we learn and change and grow. If what once worked for you doesn’t work anymore, don’t get frustrated…
-Experiment! Collaborate! Remove fear and play! Try new things with no expectation of outcome!
I’m particularly a big fan of the ‘normal job’ scenario as inspiring, because the novel I’m writing at the moment is based on my blog. A blog I did about working in a coffee shop. I had a creative response to a normal situation, and people responded to it. And now I get to turn it into a novel! Look at every situation as the chance to do research!
How do you stay inspired?