The Roots of Inspiraton and How to Stay Inspired

Chicago is such an inspiring city. I meet so many people that are makers and creaters. But it makes me wonder, do cities like this attract makers? Are makers drawn to inspiring cities? - OR - Do makers attract one another? Are we meeting some inspiring people here because we have such inspiring friends to introduce us?

Looking at the bigger picture, what it is about our generation that breeds people that want to create things on their own? Some may think that we want to be able to make money one day, without having a boss to report to. But honestly, for me? I think it's more about having something that is all my own. So no matter if I spend most of my day working for another organization, I can always come home and put my heart and soul into something where only I call the shot, where all decisions are made by me.

These days, I haven't been inspired to write. I have jotted down ideas for blog posts, but the posts go unwritten. I keep my journal out, for anytime the mood strikes, but weeks go in between entries. Instead, I'm inspired to create. I would rather make a new item for my shop versus write about my day, or sometimes I would rather take photos and videos of the things around me. But when it comes time to write about the photos or put the videos together, or create product descriptions, I fall short. I've been trying to make more of an effort to do short writing exercises in my journal, but it's a habit I've fallen out of. 

Here are some ways that I've been staying inspired lately
  • •I carry a small Moleskine (the reporter style is my favorite) in my purse every where I go. Jotting down notes in my iPhone doesn't feel natural, but hand-writing feels more deliberate. I make sure to have it with me for whenever inspiration strikes.
  • Visit somewhere new. This is an easy one for me, being that I moved to a new city - across the country! - within the last year. Everything is new to me! I have grown very familiar with my neighborhood, but I find that whenever I adventure to other parts of the city, I see something that I have not seen before, and it definitely inspires me to take photos or video of the place.
  • Collaboration. I don't actively seek out businesses and fellow bloggers to work with, mostly because I have little time after work to devote to my blog. Instead, businesses and organizations will reach out to me. I don't collaborate with every request, but when I agree to working on a new project, it is usually something I haven't done before, which always gets my creativity flowing. 
  • •That also somewhat ties into taking risks. It's so easy to stay within my blogging routine, but when I try something new, whether it's as big as a re-brand or as small as a new variety of content, I always feel really inspired to create more.
  • Don't force it. I create my best content when I am inspired. It is hard to fake inspiration and creativity. I often find that I can come up with many different ideas in one sitting, and I attempt to finalized as much as I can in that sitting. Whatever goes unfinished, will likely stay that way until the next time inspiration hits. Forcing it (like when I tried to force this blog post yesterday) doesn't make for quality content.
  • •And lastly, feed off of the energy around you. If you follow blogs that you love, visit them to get your inspiration juices flowing. Read your followers comments on your blog posts, so that you can see what they are loving, and be inspired to create more favorable content for them.
When in the worst kind of rut, I sometimes will resort to a break. A break for me has never lasted more than two weeks, because I thoroughly enjoy blogging.

The weather is slowly turning warm and the earth is exploding with spring flowers. Even the change of seasons can be such a simple way to be inspired. How do you stay inspired?


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