IE Grapevine Updates

LifeClass: Destination Inspiration

Tyler White

Tyler White

Inspiration is that flashbulb idea or electric feeling that we all feel multiple times throughout our lives, some of us a little more frequently than others. Inspiration drives us to start projects, create businesses, craft art and take action. When we’re in the zone it can feel like everything is possible and the world is limitless.

But what happens when the fire fizzles out and you’re running on fumes? And what to do when you need to find that little something to get you going? Well don’t just sit there in the dark, let’s get enlightened!

Inspiration is a huge creative and motivational boost in any process, but it can be extremely hard to find at times, even for those with eyes wide open for it. Being a writer myself, I too experience the daily struggle of trying to keep that spark alive. So how do you do it? There are multiple ways to go about finding inspiration, one of which is to just spit out ideas.

Now I’m sure you’ve heard of brainstorming before, but have you ever actually done it the right way? The idea behind brainstorming is to come up with as many ideas as you can, but the key component to it is to not edit yourself while you do it at all. And I mean not at all.

Good brainstorming is a stream of consciousness. Of course you’re going to get silly and unrealistic ideas, but in that there are most likely going to be some really good ones that have been hiding underneath all of the rubble. You might come out of a brainstorming session with a few ideas, or even a ton of ideas. This is a great way to get your thought process going and get rid of your inner critic. There’s always time to correct yourself later when you’re done.

Another way to find a good idea is just simply to go do it. Start drawing a picture or writing a story or song. It doesn’t matter how it turns out, because you’re just trying to get the rust off and get the gears going.

A technique that I’ve found to work for myself really well is something I’ve learned from Jack White: “Deadlines make you creative”. I find that giving yourself more time to work on something, despite popular belief, can kill creativity.

When you have a lot of time to work on a project, you’ll either waste lots of time due to the illusion of having all the time in the world, or you’ll stress so much over all the little things that you forget about the bigger picture.Giving yourself a smaller window of time will force you to focus on what you need to do and get as many ideas out there as you can.Now of course, you should leave yourself time to edit and correct any mistakes or do some final touch-ups, but the key to this is to use the stress of your upcoming deadline you’ve set for yourself for better purpose.

Another strategy that you can utilize to find inspiration is to look at your options. There are a few ways to go about this. One way is to give yourself more options. If you feel that you can work better with a broader selection of choices, then by all means, open yourself up to new possibilities and find something new to work with. Sometimes adding an extra tool can help you finish a tough job.

A different way you can go about this is to either work with what you have or to actually limit yourself. Now that might seem a little counterintuitive, but sometimes limiting your options will force you to find new ways to solve a problem or create something new. Whichever one of these options works for you is the right way. If thinking outside of the box isn’t working for you, then maybe looking inside of it will.

One more method that can help you find that extra edge is to just think about some people that inspire you and see if you can find some good interviews that they’ve given. Find out how they find their inspiration or how they go about the creative process. See if you can incorporate some of their ideas into your process.

Another technique I’ve picked up recently is to establish a “Board of Advisors”.  The basic idea of this is to come up with a group of about 7 or so people that inspire you and mentally put them in a group.

Now when you have a problem that you need to think about, mentally consult your board of directors and ask them how they would go about solving your problem. It’s better to ask open ended questions to get the best results. Of course, these ideas are all still coming from you, but this gets you to think from a new perspective, which is helpful in finding new ideas.

These are all tips that can help you get started on your way to chasing inspiration. You may come up with some techniques of your own that help you come up with new ideas and get that new flashbulb spark. Use whatever works for you and do your research.

Maybe it helps you to make things easier on yourself and to give yourself the horizon. For others accessibility is seen as the death of creativity, and inspiration can be found by using the same old tools to find brand new solutions. The most important thing is to be yourself and keep at it! Good luck in your search for inspiration!

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