A Search for Inspiration (Part 1
September 29, 2013

A Search For Inspiration (Part 1)

For about two hours now, I have been trying to find the motivation, nay inspiration, to write. This is an odd experience for me as I love to write, and I love writing for redOrbit. But it is just not happening for me today. I have perused the web in search of topics to excite my creativity. I have checked out redOrbit’s main site to see if anything there grabbed my attention. Hell, I have even patrolled Facebook in an effort to find something, anything, that will get me writing.

All has been in vain. So, I simply typed into Google, “ways to be inspired” and “how to get creative inspiration.” Okay, so obviously I was desperate. But here I am writing about my experience. With my search, two sites came up that provided some really great info. One article is from Forbes.com and the other from The Guardian. The article on Forbes focused on feeling inspired at work while the one from The Guardian had advice from artists in all mediums about inspiration. Let’s take a look at both, starting with Forbes.

Since I write both as a passion and artist and as a profession, I thought it would be good to talk about finding inspiration for work. Specifically, Forbes outlined nine tips for getting inspired at our desks. For most of us, work happens at a desk, so having hints for inspiration at the place where we spend most of our working hours definitely leads to a more fruitful work environment. Here are the suggestions:

1) Tidy up, Tool Up

Simply put, this means to take a minute to straighten up our work areas. Furthermore, we need make sure all our work tools are handy. For me, that would be pens, paper, books, and computer. As Forbes writes, “Give yourself permission to get anything that helps keep you excited and motivated to work.”

2) Enhance the View

Here, we need to make sure that we have images and artwork that we enjoy. Forbes claims that it is best to have pictures and things from our everyday happinesses as opposed to the grand vacations. These will help us to focus on enjoying the hear and now, or as Forbes puts it, “This will help inspire you to make today a great day, rather than leaving you wistful for Spring Break.”

3) Start with Something Beautiful

That is to say, don’t just jump into the workload. We should take a minute to visit a favorite website, blog, or Pinterest board so that we start with imagery that makes us happy and feel good. But we must limit ourselves to just a few minutes. After that, we have to get to the grindstone.

4) Stretch the Brain

Forbes put it best, “It’s important to engage with resources, news outlets, and people that challenge you to think differently. You don’t always need to agree with them—if fact, sometimes it’s more helpful if you don’t. Find a blog or website that lets your brain be a tourist in someone else’s point of view, and see if it shifts your thinking.”

5) Connect with Your Stars

Basically, we should take time out of each day to connect with our role models, mentors, or people who otherwise inspire and educate us.

6) Make Time for Humor Therapy

Humor is important to balance out our serious sides but also to inspire. Every day we should take 10 minutes for humor. Check out those funny pet videos or clips from The Daily Show or Colbert Report or just check out humor on the Huffington Post or wherever. A good laugh can inspire much.

7) Pick a Theme Song

A song that will pump up our motivation and make us feel good can make all the difference. Forbes suggests that we “find a song that captures your current intentions or aspirations, and crank it up…”

8) Keep Your Goals Visible

Post those goals and look at them regularly. We should mark them off as we achieve them and create new goals. Goal setting should be an ever-present part of our working lives. This can help keep us fresh and focused.

9) Keep Your Best Feedback on Hand

“There’s nothing like great, unprompted feedback to really make your day. The trouble is, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it when you really feel like you need it! So, make your own day by recording the great feedback you receive in an easily accessible place (like a word doc or small journal), and reviewing it whenever you need a boost.”

I have to admit; I do feel a bit more inspired. I feel like I can tackle my writing and jogging and house cleaning and reading and all this day has to give. Stay tuned for creative inspiration from The Guardian soon.

Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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