A little while ago I wrote about writer’s block, which, while it’s sometimes related to inspiration, is often a separate issue that you’re dealing with. For me, my inspiration troubles come a step before the writer’s block; first, I have to have a topic or project to be blocked on.
There are times when life just feels boring. You do the same things, day in and day out, and your days and weeks just start to run together. Nothing changes. Sometimes, this routine feels comfortable and familiar and secure; other times, it’s monotonous and dull and even a little bit irritating. For people prone to depression, this can be a dangerous way to feel, but even those with no mental health issues can start to feel oppressed by their lives and routines.
Feeling bored with life can be, and usually is, a creativity killer. Getting excited about things leads to feeling inspired, and it gives you the energy and the momentum to start working on whatever is it you want to do. But what is there to be excited and inspired about when everything just blends into its surroundings and nothing stands out, when life is tedious and repetitive?
This is when inspiration is needed most, and this is usually when it’s also the hardest to come by. Inspiration can be elusive that way.
What I have are tips to get you back in the mindset to get inspired. Everyone is inspired by different things, so I can’t tell you where to go or what to do in order to get inspiration. But I can tell you how to clear out the cobwebs and boredom so that the inspiration has somewhere welcoming to come in and stay a while. Because inspiration and boredom don’t get along very well; cure the boredom, and the inspiration will come.
Reflect: Why are you bored?
This can be the key to your problem. Finding the reason for your boredom or apathy can reveal a source of inspiration. Is there something in your life that you feel is missing, or not going the way you want it to? Is there something you want to be doing but aren’t, or don’t want to be doing but are? Do you just need a change of pace or a break; are you stuck in a rut? Once you figure out why you’re bored, do something about it. Even if you don’t necessarily fix what’s bothering you, just the fact that you’ve taken action on something in your life may be enough.
Sometimes, though, it’s not. Or you can’t pin down the problem in the first place. Don’t worry; there are other things to try.
What usually excites or inspires you?
We all have things we love to do, places we love to go, and people we love to be with and talk to. Not like, but love. Figure out a few of yours, choose a couple, and go do them.
Are you inspired by kids, or nature, or art? Go to the park on a Saturday, go for a hike, or go to an art museum. You get the idea.
Go do something new or unusual for you.
The familiar isn’t always enough. The familiar may be the very reason you’re feeling bored and uninspired, even if it’s familiar things that you love and usually find exciting. You may need something new in your life to break the monotony.
You don’t need to go do something as extreme as skydiving in order to find something new to try, although that might be just what you want. You can take a class, try a new hobby, start a do-it-yourself project. You could learn to re-tile your kitchen if that’s something that appeals to you. It’s not important what you do; it’s just important that you do something.
Do something fun.
Do anything that you like to do that makes you feel good, competent, successful, or relaxed. It could be as simple as going for a walk, reading a book, or watching a movie. It doesn’t have to be anything big, or exciting, or unusual. Just do something you enjoy so you can relax and feel happy, and maybe you won’t feel so bored anymore.
But… Nothing worked. What now?
Relax. Things don’t last forever, and sometimes all that will help is time. You can’t force it.
How do you get inspired, and what do you get inspired about? And what do you do when the inspiration won’t come?
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