I used to thrive off the sudden urgency of inspiration that would strike me. It would oddly happen at unexpected times when I wasn’t in the creative state of mind, such as when I was driving, sitting through a professional development course, cooking dinner, or even in the shower. These feelings of inspiration would overpower me; they would cause me to feel euphoric and excited to share my ideas.

Unfortunately, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way.

Creativity has always been the backbone of my work, my philosophy, and my pride. I have loved creating- and still love creating- for the sake of creating. I can now clearly pinpoint when I noticed my inspiration diminishing, and that is when I created solely for the purpose of showcasing my work and achieving high goals I had set for myself. Simply put, the joy was lost in the creation. Feeling uninspired is a pretty crappy feeling; when inspiration is lacking, so is drive, passion, and hope.

What has probed today’s blog post is my feelings of being uninspired as of late. I used to get so excited to create things, share, and write, but lately, not so much. I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, (which is extremely captivating and enlightening, by the way) and her words spoke to me.

“The most important thing to understand about eudaemonia though– about that exhilarating encounter between a human being and divine creative inspiration– is that you cannot expect it to be there for you all the time. It will come and go, and you must let it come and go…”

It’s okay to not be inspired 100% of the time, folks. Because if we were inspired at all times, there would not be joy in the process. We would lose the feeling of what captivates and excites us.

Gilbert goes on to talk about the relationship between creativity and fear, and why we must create because we enjoy the process, rather than because we want great success:

“You can measure your wort by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures….. You might earn a living with your pursuits or you might not, but you can recognize that this is not really the point. At the end of your days, you can thank creativity for having blessed you with a charmed, interesting, passionate existence.”

Have you been feeling uninspired lately? It happens to even the most brilliant of people. Here are my short tips for finding that inspiration when you’re just not feeling it, whether you are lacking inspiration in your career, your craft, your side gig, or whatever your passion is. This blog post is for everyone, because I believe that we are all creative people at heart.

1.) Get moving.

Here’s the cool thing: You can always find inspiration. Yes, even when you aren’t feeling it!

I’m a huge believer that endorphins have the power to not only heal physical sickness, health problems, and mental health illness, but also cause spiritual healing.

Here’s an example.

When I came home from work yesterday afternoon, I was feeling very lethargic and just not in the mood to be productive, or do a whole lot of anything. I had originally made plans to get some things done around the house, take the dog for a walk, enjoy the outdoors, and blog.  It was a beautiful summer afternoon, and I certainly wanted to make the best of it. The problem is, I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. After lounging on the couch and deciding that I didn’t want to fall asleep to Netflix by 7pm, I decided to take my pup out for a quick walk around the block, even though it was the last thing I wanted to do. I knew that the rush of endorphins would help me get out of my lazy and uninspired funk.

What happened next was super cool. Halfway through our walk, the clouds turned dark, and we found ourselves caught up in a thunderstorm. All of a sudden, there was a TORRENTIAL downpour; the kind of rain that pierces your face and makes you feel alive. As Shadow and I scurried as fast as we could through the puddles back to the house, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of wonder and explicit joy. It was like I was a kid all over again. Whereas some people hate storms, I LOVE them….and they inspire me. When we got back to the house and I had to deal with a wet, shaggy, smelly dog jumping on my couch, I didn’t even care. It was like I found the inspiration I had set out to seek. I was at peace. Thus, I lit a candle and started writing this blog post.

My point is, find your inspiration. It’s there.

2.) Go somewhere new.

Whenever I need to rejuvenate my creative process, I like to switch up my location. My favorite places to work are at coffee shops, or sitting outside by the water. But you don’t need to go somewhere new just for the sake of getting your work done. Visit somewhere else to give you a fresh perspective. Go to the farmer’s market. Visit the beach. Go to a National park. Be mindful of your surroundings, which in turn may change your mindset and inspire you.

3.) Collaborate with a creative friend.

My girlfriend, Dea, and I recently took outfit pictures together for our blogs and then grabbed lunch at a place we normally don’t go to. She’s in the process of launching her own blog, and I needed help with mine, so it was a perfect match. I think we both rekindled our own inspiration by hanging out, talking out about our projects, and enjoying a space where we could celebrate ourselves together. It’s nice when you can share your creative process with someone likeminded.

4.) Create to create, not to showcase.

I dare you to create, and NOT showcase the end product. Write in a journal just to write. Blog just for yourself. Paint a mural for your classroom, and DON’T post it on Instagram. Whatever your craft is, do it for you. And do it because you love it.

5.) Try a different activity out of your comfort zone.

Sometimes, it may be helpful to start a new hobby to find inspiration. I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone. For instance, I love the great outdoors, but I’m also a huge homebody. I often wrestle back and forth with wanting to get out of the house to do something active, but not actually wanting to leave my home to do it. I have been making more of an active effort to do things that I typically don’t want to do in the moment, for the sake of creating more meaningful experiences. Because of this change in mindset, I have been outside hiking more with the dog, meeting up with new people, and trying new things. It’s totally been worth it, and has given me new energy that I have never experienced before.

6.) Read books that will inspire you.

Sometimes, a girl just needs a friendly kick in the butt to get motivated. Finding a good read can help you align your thinking in the right direction. Would y’all like if I wrote a blog post on my inspirational summer reads? I think I may do so soon!

Also, I’ve heard podcasts are very inspiring, but I’ve never been a huge podcast person….so if you have suggestions, leave them for me!

Photos by my friend Dea Marie // Jumpusit: Charlotte Russe (only $12.99!) / Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

7.) Drink some coffee or wine.

Haha, I threw this in mostly as a joke! But seriously- a glass of coffee and/or wine always makes me feel like I’m on top of the world! LOL.

8.)  Try the 10-minute rule.

Don’t feel like working on your craft? Try give it an honest effort for 10 minutes. Just allow yourself 10 uninterrupted minutes to give it your best shot. You might be surprised by how these few moments might fuel you to keep going. When you take the pressure off of yourself, you reconnect yourself to the joy of the finished product.

9.) Take a break.

Seriously, take a break. For whatever reason, you’re not feeling it. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on your craft forever, it just means that you’re parting ways until you find the project meaningful again. Let go of the guilt and shame that you aren’t “doing” enough, or “creating” enough…..and just live your life. YOU are the one who is ultimately kept prisoner by your own high expectations. By living your life, you are already creating. You are creating a happy, meaningful, and balanced life.

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How do YOU stay inspired when you are lacking the “magic”?

I’ll leave you with one last quote from Big Magic:

“…You have treasures hidden within you….And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think so small.”