When I have no inspiration to write or blog, what should I do? That’s a question I have to answer often when I write. I simple answer is: I write. This is something that I picked up from Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art“. Steven labels something many creators, like me, have struggled to label. He calls it, “resistance”. How apt.
Thanks Steven; because of your great work I don’t succumb to resistance like I used to. I still have some ways to go.
Artists and other creators who have achieve anything significant over a long time know that feelings don’t always cooperate with intentions. We’re never always going to feel like doing what we should be doing. Our hopes and aspirations are product of more than intentions. Pressfield alludes to this:
[Tweet “Grit separates the professionals from the amateurs.”]
When I have no inspiration, this is what I do:
I dare to write anyway. Most of the times inspiration kicks in toward the end. The times I ignore my lack of inspiration and do what I should the results follow.
Stall and Procrastinate
Sometimes I just stall. I watch one extra episode of that series – hello Netflix. Scroll through the Twitter and Instagram timeline, again. Stalling and procrastinating takes on different forms. I’m not short of distractions and pacifiers. It now takes me a shorter time to be honest – “you’re stalling, get to what you should be doing!”
Yes, I talk myself into getting to stuff.
When I have no inspiration, I revisit ideas, outlines and drafts I recorded on idea filled days. I have moments when I have more ideas and inspiration than I have time or space for. (I’m sure you can identify). Using apps like Simplenote makes the days with little or no inspiration fruitful ones.
I look for inspiration. I read other people’s blogs and explore angles they haven’t considered.
I read books with pen in hand. I have a conversation with the author; I challenge, question and affirm author’s propositions. When I have no inspiration, I go through some of highlights, underlining and notes in books I’ve read. To find out more on how I read books check out this post.
Every now and then someone asks for my opinion. When I don’t know what to blog, I check to see if there are any questions I haven’t answered.
Some of my ideas come as I run, shower or bath. Weird, right? Sometimes walking on the pier at harbour sparks ideas. Talking to a friend about what has been going through their mind often inspires me to write something. A new experience and other breaks from routine inspire me. When I have no inspiration, I chase a new experience.
The challenge that some writers and bloggers face is not that there isn’t content. It is that they aren’t aware of it.
I’ve learnt that the longer I take to push against the dry spells the harder it gets overcome them. Inspiration is not always mythical. It eludes many because they think it comes with fuzzy feelings and rainbows. The bottom line: When I have no inspiration, I do all I can to push back. I don’t wait for it to show up.