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Hunting Down Inspiration

Updated on February 25, 2012

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

—Jack London

The sun is shining through the open window as the fresh spring breeze waifs in, carrying the sent of fresh cut grass. My eyes flutter open as I stretch and pull myself out of a wonderful nights sleep. My mind is refreshed and full of new ideas; I can’t wait to get to the computer and get them all down. Inspiration has visited me in the night and gifted me with poems and navels and articles, whatever I wish to write magically spills across the keyboard and on to my computer to be shared with the world.

Then I actually wake up. Tired, grumpy and without an ounce of inspiration to be found. I can safely say that I have never experienced a morning like I first described but I have dreamed of it often. Inspiration is viewed as a magic substance that is out of our control and is occasionally bestowed upon us from the muses or gods. This is where we go wrong. As creative creatures we can sit around for a painting or poem or photograph to come to us, we must find it. I can generate that the most prolific writers and artists and thinkers don’t sit around waiting for a lightbulb to flicker on. They go out and generate the electricity themselves.


Five Ways to Hunt Down Inspiration

  1. Write

    Whether you think of yourself as a writer or not. Write. Set a goal, a time limit, a word count, a page count, whatever. Just set a goal and write. There are no rules or prompts just write about whatever comes to mind at that moment. You can list nouns or you can record a childhood memory or you can write hate mail (that you wont send of course) you could even write about how you feel ridiculous whiting without a goal. It doesn’t matter what words you write as long as you keep going and don’t stop to think about it. Spelling, grammar and vocabulary should be pitched out the window. This will get thoughts flowing and soon enough that elusive inspiration will come out of hiding.

  2. Take Pictures

    Spend a day taking pictures. The quality isn’t a big deal use a disposable, your phone whatever just take pictures. From the time you get up until you go to bed set an alarm every 30 to 60 minutes snap a photo. You can pick a theme of the day such as the cutest thing you see or the strangest thing you see or of the floor where you are right then. The act of viewing your surroundings through a viewfinder or even just the screen on your phone or digital camera causes you to view the world from a different angle and perspective. It will make you more aware of your environment and from this new awareness something is bound to stoke the imagination and inspire you.

  3. Surf the Web

    The internet is a wonderful source of inspiration. From photographs, articles, and viral videos something is bound to give you a new idea. Some recommendations are Tumblr, Pintrest, and StumbleUpon.

  4. Eavesdrop

    It’s only rude if you but in our make it obvious that you are listening. You to a coffee shop or cafe. Pretend to read a book and just listen in to the conversations going on around you. Perhaps you will here an interesting snippet the will get your imagination flowing and will lead to your own inspiration. Once I over heard a man in next isle at the grocery store on the phone all I heard was "She already weighs 90 pounds and she's only six months!" Things like that can always help with finding new ideas.

  5. Travel

    I don’t mean backpack Europe or go on an African Safari. Although those are all well and good, I mean just travel anywhere, even if it's just to the end of the block. Go somewhere that you don’t always go. A weekend trip or the park across town. Just go somewhere new. To take it to another level travel in a different fashion. Take the train rather than a plane. A bus instead of the car. Bike instead of walk. The idea is just to do something different and catch inspiration by surprise.


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    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 6 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, useful, interesting, and shared. Your suggestions are very good. Another idea is to use one art form as a springboard to creating with another -- write a poem about a painting; write a scene suggested by a passage of classical music; express in a musical composition the aromas of simmering soup or the harmonies of a wall hanging.

      Another tip is from hunting. The hunter usually does not see or hear his/her prey clear and whole. Instead it might be a glimpse of a flank in the foliage, a slight movement before a well-camouflaged animal is still again. Inspiration might not come in a flash as the plot summary of a novel. Instead there might come to one a nagging and vague sense of conflict caused by a daughter somewhere making some career or marriage choice that negates her mother's life purpose. What then are the details? That's the hunt. Of course that is just one of an infinity of possible entry points to a story.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 6 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Wow! Eavesdropping for inspiration what a novel idea!

    • ar.colton profile image

      Mikal Smith 6 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

      Eavesdropping is the best for inspiration! City buses are a goldmine. Great hub :)

    • inevitablesecrets profile image

      inevitablesecrets 6 years ago from California

      Thank You. I'm glad you liked it.

    • profile image

      jasper420 6 years ago

      well written! Great idea great hub! Voted up!