8 Tried And True Inspiration Refill Tips For Writers
I don’t want to work. I’m drained. I’m just empty, tired, and exhausted. I write because I have to, but do I want to? Honestly, if I had a drop of choice I’d be on my way to Mars right now, no technology whatsoever.
Do I love to write? Well, I used to. Now that you ask, even yesterday I did. In fact, even this morning I had a spark in my eye as I went to the office. I had it when I was opening the door. I had it when I touched the keyboard with nothing but a thought of hustle on my mind.
Nevertheless, I’m drained now. It takes a damn while to write this blog post. But I will. Because I know how to re-drain. And in a while, you will, too.
What is inspiration?
Curious to find out, I went online, googled “inspiration”, and the following popped out:
“Inspiration - the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”
So, inspiration is your ability to do something. If you have it, you feel like you can lift mountains. But if you don’t, then every sentence is a rock, and you are Sisyphus, forced to lift it up all over again.
How we spend inspiration?
There’s a great book entitled “The Willpower Instinct: How Self-control Works”. I love the way it describes the concept of willpower: it turns out, we have a willpower bar at the beginning of the day, and as we go through the day, we drain it. That’s why in the morning we feel heroically happy, ready to conquer the world, whereas in the evening only bed, good food, and Netflix can cheer you up.
Same works with inspiration - we drain it as we spend the day. But, unlike willpower, inspiration is easier to refill by feeding on the fruits of someone else’s work.
8 tips to get an inspiration refill
1. Take your time
Inspiration comes out of thinking. As Camus once said in “The myth of Sisyhus”, “that’s by thinking that we learn again how to see”. And, frankly, there’s no better way to think than when you are alone.
When there’s a project you need to work on, cut off unnecessary interactions - people you’ve met and never saw again, arguments you had “because you had to prove yourself right”, long phone calls, etc.
Takeaway: spend 20-30 minutes per day alone, thinking solely about your writing and projects.
2.Create a friendly environment
It’s not only when you work or how you do it that matters. The place of your hustle is just as important. I can tell now because I’ve been on both sides of environment. Firstly, I worked out of home. It felt fine but with all the distractions coming in my way I never really saw improvements.
Getting an office felt like something stupid and pathetic. As a freelancer, I never really have clients. Oh, and also, will I even wake up early enough to go to the office?
It wasn’t until recently that I decided that enough is enough. I still doubted the idea of having a room dedicated solely to your hustle but it worked out fine.
Takeaway: create or rent a separate place where you’ll work. It helps you separate your worklife from your rest, thus you don’t drain your inspiration out so fast.
I was lucky enough to have but a few moments of true inspiration recently. They came and went and I never developed any spell that could bring the feeling back. But I still remember how it was. And in all those situations there was one common thing - inspiration was spontaneous.
I didn’t think hard of what to create. Something popped up in the head, I did it, and it succeeded. In retrospective, I realize that even starting a Facebook page was nothing but an act of inspiration because no rational thinking was involved at the moment.
Now that I think about it, wasn’t it foolish to start a Facebook page right when the network changed its algorithms. It was, but hey, inspiration.
Takeaway: once in a while, try to do something that popped into your head without overthinking it - it might be just the bigger picture you needed for your next step.
According to that very same essay of Albert Camus, “we live by the quantity of experiences”. As we experience something new, we get the fuel to function better back at home.
I know what you thinking. Hey, I don’t have time to travel, I work, okay? Also, how about money? And also, traveling with no purpose is meaningless?
I know this stuff because I say exactly the same things to myself. It hasn’t occured to me until recently that we don’t have to go far away to recharge.
Takeaway:Seeing a new area of your town is enough - it’s at times even more astonishing to think “how close I live to places like this, and how come I’ve never discovered them earlier?”.
Every writer gets an advice to read once in a while. But I’d say it a bit differently - read something entirely out of the box. I, for instance, was often into books that were practical guides rather than abstract concept. However, now I fell in love with Camu’s essay The Myth of Sisyphus”.
so abstract that it’s even weird. Also, reading about suicides might not be the most inspiring thing to do. For me it was though. It gave me an entirely new perspective, something I didn’t see coming. I read it twice over the last month and I keep falling in love with ideas and the writing style.
Takeaway: read something you could’ve never seen on your bookshelf.
6. Watch interviews
You do have people you admire, right? Because, boy, do I have a ton of those. Let’s name but a few of those who’ve made the biggest impact in my life as a writer and a person and keep doing it now.
- Taylor Swift (though she gets criticized sometimes in media, Taylor stands tall as a leading role model to me - a powerful woman, a talented artist, and a strong entrepreneur);
- Lilly Singh - she runs the Youtube and is one of those people for whom consistency speaks in the best way. She influences the way I treat hustling right now.
- Shonda Rhimes - if there’s a person to whom I shall bow for my writing passion, here’s to you, Ms. Rhimes. She’s a great person, an awesome writer, and the characters in her shows are trailblazers.
- Karlie Kloss - a model, a coder, a Youtuber, and a TV show host - Karlie speaks the language of human power and is a true example for people all over the world.
When I have no inspiration and the world doesn’t strike me as a good place, turning on a interview with someone of those people makes my life better. In 5-7 minutes, I get to learn their stories, motivations, and secrets. And isn’t that very little time for so much wisdom and inspiration?
Takeaway: list 5 people who influence you the most (I can guarantee that this list will change all the time). Every time you feel bored, watch an interview with them to get a peek into their greatness.
7. Do jogging
It’s very hard to take on a sport habit. Real talk. However, I noticed that jogging takes the stress off better than any other activity. It became some sort of meditation for me - the one that allows to clear my head out and sort through all the thoughts and ideas.
It’s great to buy some jogging equipment and put it at home. That way no weather prohibits you from doing sports.
Takeaway: do sports few times a week. It’s especially helpful to jog after some hustle when your mind is stuffed.
8. Don’t be scared of being dumb
A great person once said: “If you are the smartest person in the room, you should find another room”.
Think about the rooms you are in. Which of them are boring to you because, frankly, you are the best, the smartest, or the strongest one over there? Be honest - there are these room. As soon as you saw these places - get out and run as far as you see coming. If you have too many clients, elevate the price. If you have too much validation, find other challenges. It’s better to be dumb but growing than smart yet degrading.
Takeaway: seek new challenges - make sure you always have people you admire and new things to learn.
Some of these tips are not easy to implement. Frankly, I doubt there ever was a time in my life when I was using all of them. However, pick only two or three and start with those - they are just as helpful.
Author: Nadia Vashkovska