The Practice of Inspiration

A woman searches for inspiration, in this 1898...

Professional artists, whatever their medium, say with good reason that ‘inspiration is for amateurs’. Deadlines, word counts, record companies or editors don’t care if you’re having a good week or not. They just need your product delivered when you promised it.

Nevertheless, even the most organized, disciplined artist (which excludes me!) needs and looks for inspiration to stimulate their process or refresh their brains. If a long-term goal is equivalent to reaching a mountain-top, and motivation is what keeps us on the trail, inspiration is the impulse that started us on the hike to begin with. It could have been something as simple wondering what the view from that particular peak looks like. It’s also the moment when an unexpected vista opens in front of us as we make our way upward. It’s something to savor and take a picture of. You catch your breath and rest, and then get back on your way. Inspiration makes you eager to see what you’ll discover next.

What refreshes you and gives that little zap of energy may not do a thing for your neighbor. Just check out all the different boards on Pinterest if you don’t believe me. What we love is as individual as we are. It could be visiting a botanical garden or window shopping at the local mall. The main thing is to find out what you love and take the time to indulge it. As long as you don’t wait for your Muse to drift down on a golden cloud and sprinkle fairy dust on your head before getting back to work, you should be fine. Maybe something wonderful that you can use right now will come to you. Maybe you’ll get a cool idea that you can’t use at the moment — make a note of it somehow so you don’t lose it. Or you might not see anything that really inspires you. That’s okay, you’ve still got your long-term goal to keep you on track.

One nice thing about looking for inspiration on a scheduled basis is that it opens your heart and mind. It can come from anywhere: spiritual readings, the rock you kept since you found it on the beach at age seven, a science journal. Like anything else, finding inspiration becomes easier with practice. And you find out what things inspire you for different tasks.

Lately, I’ve been looking at a lot of Georgian houses and listening to movie soundtracks. What gets your brain cells off and running? If you don’t know, take a few minutes and see what strikes your fancy!


6 thoughts on “The Practice of Inspiration

  1. Inspiration helps me work on my blog and podcast, without it… well I would be doing something else that inspires me. Things are so much easier to accomplish when there is a little dab of inspiration behind it. It is very important to find something that intrigues and inspires you because the finished product will not only blow you away, but it will blow others away as well.

    Great Post!


    1. Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post — and I agree that inspiration gives us a push in the right direction. It won’t replace goals, but without it, we’d have no goals!


  2. I find this article inspiring, an easy answer, but true.
    Now it is spring and around my house, inspiration involves the “c” word, cleaning. The house and yard demand work. I must answer the call, unless sidetracked by rain or the internet. Eventually, most jobs are finished, with refreshing breaks now and then, like reading your blog.


    1. Shucks, Mary Jo, you’re making me blush. The ‘c’ word is most definitely a four-letter word in my house, but we all need to clean. No matter how deeply we loathe it. Like most other worthwhile tasks, the result is worth the effort. (P.S. Any chance you’d come over and clean my house next? *ducking*)


  3. Reading great writing, usually outside of the genre I’m working in, can be an inspiration to me. As is a good movie. My favorite source of inspiration is water- the ocean, a stream, even rain. It soothes my soul and allows me to think freely again.


    1. Thanks for stopping by & telling us what works for you, Kim. Those are all wonderful ideas, especially water! I totally get that.


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