We all have those days, right? The days when we feel anything but creative, and instead end up exhausted, burnt out, and unmotivated. I’ve had quite a few of those days recently, and they’re tough. It’s hard to get past the dead-zone and get to work.
Feeling unmotivated is one of the most frustrating and discouraging things we face as creatives. I mean, we want to do our best work, after all, don’t we? So what’s the problem? What’s causing this void in the creative well?
Symptoms of a Greater Cause
There are a couple of things we tell ourselves when we end up in a creative slump:
- I’m not inspired
- I just don’t have the motivation right now
Both might be true, but chances are good these are only symptoms and there’s something larger at play.
But instead of searching for the greater cause, we’re often content to wallow in our lack of inspiration and motivation, which leads to things like procrastination, discouragement, frustration, and further lack of drive.
The Nature of Inspiration
The secret to productive creativity is understanding the nature of inspiration. It is not bound to you, nor will it come when you call it. Inspiration is wild, free, and mysterious, and you are not entitled to its company.
We’re quick to blame a dry creative well on lack of inspiration, but the truth is, lack of inspiration happens when you stop taking in new experiences and neglect the beauty around you.
The Real Creativity Killer
So if it’s not lack of inspiration or motivation, what is it? The real killer of creativity is usually much deeper: lack of stimulation.
As creatives, we tend to be content with living in our own little worlds, by our own rules, and operating within our own rhythms, but when you live in a bubble, the well runs dry. If you want to develop a creative lifestyle, you must learn to live in two worlds.
How to Stimulate Your Creativity
Vibrant creativity requires a regular dose of stimulation, or it grows stagnant. A few ways you can stimulate your creativity are:
- Getting out of the house (going to a park, a coffee shop, or the mall)
- Exploring outdoors
- Talking to a friend
- Going on a date with your spouse or significant other
- Observing or interacting with others
Exploration and interaction are the fuel you need to stay creative, and when you neglect to get out of your lair, or spend too many days in isolation, your creativity will suffer.
So when you feel uninspired or unmotivated, examine your lifestyle. Have you been spending too much time alone, in the same place? When was the last time you experienced something new or different? How long has it been since you were intentional about stimulating your creativity?
It’s time to stop waiting around for inspiration to find you, and get out (literally), and do something about it. You’ll be amazed at the benefits.
- How has lack of stimulation affected your creativity?
- Do you struggle with feeling unmotivated and uninspired?
- What is something you can do today to stimulate your creativity?