Whether you’re a writer, a painter, a mother, a lawyer, a nurse, or anything else in this wild old world—you are a creative. You may utilize your creativity in your workday, in the kitchen, in the boardroom, or in a hundred other places. Sometimes it’s a joy and sometimes it’s exhausting. If you’re like me, sometimes you overthink it. And perhaps right now you need someone to offer you a (virtual) warm hug with a fancy iced latte, along with six simple springboards for your creativity…
“…this is the season of exquisite redemption, a slam-bang return to joy after a season of cold second thoughts.” Barbara Kingsolver
I tend to think of springtime as being the season for new growth and fresh inspiration, largely as we have the sheer joy of observing nature unfurl its beauty before our very eyes. So surely, we should feel super-creative and brimming with new ideas and artsy dreams and boundless energy to carry out all our lofty plans to write, draw, bake, make, sing, fold, sew, cook, and do our thing with abandon? If only inspiration would fall upon us like soft apple blossom petals leaving us smelling sweet and stirred up to start…
“The point is that the pleasures of spring are available to everybody, and cost nothing.” George Orwell
So here we are, in the perfect season for (free) creative inspiration. But where is it? I’m ready and waiting…
As a writer and a writing coach, I often hear of frustrated peers being struck with “writer’s block” or just being plain stuck in a rut with nowhere to go, in desperate need of some fresh inspiration. It’s much the same with anyone who needs to draw on their creativity for work, play, hobby, or necessity—surely, inspiration will strike and beauty will flow?
I hate to burst the rainbow-and-unicorns bubble of cotton-candy hues and fairy dust sparkle, but inspiration sometimes—often—nearly always—needs to be sought after with intention.
In her new book, I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet (which I am currently devouring with delight), Shauna Niequist says:
“It’s your responsibility as a creative person to actively put yourself in the path of inspiration.”
Okay… so, how does one find that path?
It’s a path that’s as unique as we are, but I’d love to share some suggestions with you:
- REMEMBER WHAT WARMED YOUR HEART AS A CHILD: Going to the library, skimming stones on the lake, soccer, skipping, cycling, coloring… ask yourself why it brought you joy and use that as a springboard. Check out the kids’ section at a bookstore if your memory needs a nudge.
- READ SOMETHING FRESH: Read a poem each day, even if it’s not your thing. Read a novel and allow your imagination to be swept up in a story. Read a Psalm and allow God’s Word to nourish your soul.
- VISIT A NEW-TO-YOU COFFEE SHOP: We love familiar, but perhaps getting out of our coffee comfort zone and trying new surroundings, new sounds, new people to watch, will spark creativity.
- CAPTURE BEAUTY: Grab your camera or your phone or your sketch pad and be intentional about seeking out beauty in your hometown. Allow yourself to be surprised!
- FIVE-MINUTE FREE-WRITE: As soon as you wake up before distractions creep in, journal your thoughts or a prayer or anything that’s weighing on your mind. It may merely clear the cobwebs but you may also unearth some gems.
- TAKE A WALK: Fresh air, no phone, just creation, and the Creator…
Friend, inspiration for your creativity might be as near as the orchard full of apple blossoms at the end of the road or in the colors of the sunset splashing across this evening’s sky.
You see, we’re not only creatives, we are created. And the Creator who imagined the fresh fragrance and tart taste of a lemon, and the gentle lull of lapping waves on a sandy shore, is all about the details. And He gifts us with so much inspiration—if we would only pause long enough to pay attention.
“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.” — Mary Oliver
Tell about it using words on a page, with tonight’s new dinner recipe, by your daughter’s fancy braids, performing on a stage, rearranging your living room, in a story told aloud, or painting Grandma’s fingernails.
Where do you find inspiration? Do share in the comments below, and let’s learn from one another and let those creative juices flow… because here’s the good news:
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou
Until next time,
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