Where does most of your inspiration come from?
Personally, I follow many different people online and read a handful of articles about creativity, self development, simplicity and minimalism and other related topics every day. It helps keep me focused and inspired, and feel part of a wider community of creative people who have similar aims and beliefs and ambitions that I have.
This is all good. Everyone needs their sources of inspiration and their extended “tribe”.
Sometimes though, we can slip into a mode that’s simply all about reaction, rather than taking action ourselves. We’re focused on looking for ways to be inspired rather than being inspiring ourselves.
For example, maybe you read an article about how to be more creative by using a daily ideas journal. You might be moved to leave a comment, something like “thanks for the great post, I love these ideas, it’s just what I need.”
Then, as the day goes by, what you read about and felt so inspired by at the time, seems to slowly evaporate amongst the chaos of the rest of life, and you never do get around to taking any new action.
Later that evening, you read another rousing article, and again leave a similar comment.
And then, again, the motivations slips away if you don’t act on it.
You could describe this as living a life of reaction.
You wait for something or someone to inspire you, then you react and tell them how much they do inspire you, then you, um, just sort of wait around for something or someone else to inspire you again.
And the cycle repeats.
In between your regular shots of inspiration though, there’s not much creating going on your end.
What if instead you didn’t hang around waiting for someone else to motivate you with an article? What if, instead of this reactive response, you just went out created your own inspiration?
What if then, the stuff YOU created, was seen and experienced by others, and they felt inspired to create more themselves?
In reality, we all need to find a combination of this reactive/active, inspired/inspiring approach, to find the ideal balance that works for us.
The trap we can fall into is to think by reading and even responding to other people’s writing and creating, we are creating ourselves.
Don’t misunderstand, I love getting comments on my posts, and hearing how they’ve been helpful to people, and engaging in conversations on creativity. It’s a big part of why I write.
But if I was asked what my ideal outcome was for someone reading an article I’ve written about being more creative, it would be that the moment they finished the article, then went out did something creative! If not before! That’s my primary goal. That’s why I’m a Creativity Coach, to help people be more creative in every way I can.
Do you sometimes fool yourself about how creative you’re being? Are you really just reading about and watching others being creative rather than getting on and creating yourself?
I know that’s a challenging question, but it’s one I know I certainly need to ask myself regularly, as I slip into subtle forms of procrastination like reading lots of blogs posts and Twitter updates, rather then disconnecting from everything and just creating what I need to create.
Ask the question to yourself.
Then go and create the art most important to you right now.
Why wait for someone else to create something amazing and inspiring when you could be creating it yourself?
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